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ROSTENKOWSKI MAY BE INDICTED SOON, PAPER SAYS

SHARE ROSTENKOWSKI MAY BE INDICTED SOON, PAPER SAYS

A U.S. attorney investigating allegations of financial wrongdoing against Rep.

Dan Rostenkowski is recommending the Justice Department seek an indictment, a published report said Friday.U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder sent an outline of proposed charges to the Justice Department earlier this week and may seek a grand jury indictment of the Illinois Democrat as early as the end of this month, according to Friday's Washington Post.

"Theoretically, the Justice Department has the final decision on this case, but given the political sensitivity, the U.S. attorney's decision would probably stand," the Post quoted one law enforcement source as saying.

Attorney General Janet Reno has made clear repeatedly that she intends to let the prosecutors in the case do what they think best without any interference.

Rostenkowski, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has denied any wrongdoing. He told the Post Thursday night he was unaware of the latest development in the case. "I didn't have any idea," he said. "They (prosecutors) haven't told me. I don't know anything about the charges."

Rostenkowski has been ensnared by the House Post Office scandal. His office and campaign accounts and his stamp purchases have been under investigation by a federal grand jury.

The Post said its sources declined to characterize the proposed charges but said Holder's office was proposing a "kitchen sink" approach.

An indictment on a felony charge would require Rostenkowski to step down as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which some Democrats say could hamper efforts to approve President Clinton's health-reform proposals.