And Holder, says TIME Washington correspondent Elaine Shannon, is one of Janet Reno's staunchest defenders. "Holder's a Republican, but he's stood with Reno through all this. When [task force head Charles] LaBella was insisting on an independent counsel, Holder argued that Justice was able to do the job itself. He abhors independent counsels as much as Reno." Burton and Reno may yet come up with a compromise. But Reno has said she simply wants three more weeks to review LaBella's memo before she makes a decision. Far be it for Burton to shy away from a scrap with Reno, Eric Holder or anyone else -- but waiting another three weeks might have saved everyone a lot of fuss.
WASHINGTON: The contempt is running both ways between Dan Burton and Janet Reno. After Burton's House Oversight Committee finally voted to cite the attorney general for contempt for refusing to play ball with Burton, Reno was icily defiant at an afternoon Q&A, calling the citation "a form of political tampering that no prosecutor in America can accept." In this case, the tampering shouldn't run very deep. The full House would have to endorse any contempt citation, and that vote wouldn't come at least until September. The next stop? Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, who would supervise any handling of the House action.