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Rep. Questions Portals Project

October 14, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A House subcommittee chairman called today for the Justice Department to investigate the move of the Federal Communications Commission to a development in Southwest Washington.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, chairman of the House Commerce oversight subcommittee, questioned the $1 million fees paid by Tennessee developer Franklin Haney to two prominent Democrats _ James Sasser, ambassador to China, and Peter Knight, former Clinton-Gore campaign manager _ for their work on the Portals project.

House Republicans have questioned whether the payments were illegal contingency fees based on Sasser’s and Knight’s abilities to use political pull and get the FCC to move to Haney’s Portals development.

Sasser has said his fee was for helping Haney arrange financing for the project; Knight has said his fee was for work on a variety of issues, including the Portals.

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