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Memo Reportedly Contradicts Gore

August 20, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Vice President Al Gore’s account of his campaign fund-raising phone calls appear to be contradicted by handwritten notes on a White House memo obtained by the Justice Department, The New York Times reported today.

Unidentified government officials told the newspaper the notations on the memo indicate Gore and several campaign officials discussed how some of the large contributions he was raising _ meant only for general Democratic campaign purposes, or ``soft money″ _ would be diverted to accounts to directly finance the Clinton-Gore re-election effort, known as ``hard money.″

The sources said the notes were written by an unidentified senior Gore aide, the Times reported.

The officials would not provide the notations on the memo, which referred to a Nov. 21, 1995 meeting. They would not say how the notes show Gore knew about plans for his fund-raising calls.

They also said that the notes were not conclusive evidence of what Gore knew about fund-raising activities and they did not provide details of the discussion at the meeting.

Attorney General Janet Reno has said telephone solicitations for ``hard money″ by Gore or President Clinton were subject to federal campaign finance laws and could be illegal.

But, in December, she absolved Gore of wrongdoing in regard to the phone calls, saying there was no evidence that he had raised funds for the campaign.

A Gore spokesman declined to comment to the Times. Gore has said he believed his solicitations were lawful and intended to raise ``soft money″ to be used only for general party purposes.

The officials told the newspaper the issue has emerged as a focal point of debate at the Justice Department as Reno reconsiders whether to seek an independent prosecutor investigation of fund-raising abuses during Clinton’s re-election campaign.

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