“As we approach the election, I think there will be more issues like this raised and we should be very careful,” she told reporters at a briefing this morning. “We’re going to review everything that comes up if there is anything based on the evidence and the law.”
The task force is headed by Robert Conrad, who previously recommended that Reno appoint a special counsel to investigate whether or not Gore made false statements to federal investigators about his role in the broader 1996 fund-raising scandals.
Since Gore was asked to make the call to Umphrey in 1995, the attorney and his law firm, which is involved in tobacco industry litigation, have contributed $790,000 to the Democratic Party. The newly revealed documents suggest party officials were concerned that Umphrey wouldn’t begin writing six-figure checks until after Clinton vetoed the GOP-backed liability bill.
Umphrey is one of five trial lawyers at the center of a legal dispute between the Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and attorneys who represented the state in litigation to recover money from tobacco companies for health care costs. The trial lawyers are receiving $3.3 billion for the tobacco case and Cornyn is seeking to question the lawyers who negotiated the state’s tobacco settlement.