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Senator tries to axe DoJ Microsoft trial funding

Trial just a cover for Al Gore's election campaign, claims Gorton

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MS on Trial Senator Slade Gorton is trying to stop a 15 per cent increase in US Department of Justice funding, because "they've demonised the most innovative, extraordinary world-changing engine for progress that this world may ever have seen". In case Register readers are as mystified as we were as to the identity of this innovator, Gorton was bellyaching on the Senate floor about Microsoft. "The case offends me in every sense of the word," he said. "This trial was designed precisely to allocate resources from Microsoft to Microsoft's competitors." Gorton (a Republican) had a theory about this: he thinks that these Microsoft rivals are all giving loads of money to Al Gore (Democrat) for his presidential campaign. When accused by a group of four Republicans and five Democrats in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee that this intervention "could be perceived by the public and parties in litigation as interfering with a pending trial", Gorton's office said he did not want to cut the funding out of revenge, but to stop additional funding being used to continue the prosecution. In fact, the workload of the DoJ has increased significantly, with a 30 per cent recent increase in merger filings to be scrutinised, which does justify an increase. Gorton has been demanding detailed information about the DoJ expenditure on the case, but so far Attorney General Janet Reno has stonewalled him. Gorton was also upset that Intel settled with the FTC, because he thought that it was through fear that they would be "dragged through the mud" as had Microsoft in its trial. Gorton is a senator for Washington state. Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. ® Complete Register trial coverage

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