Michael Isikoff

High Noon On The Hustings

There are plenty of reasons for Al Gore and George W. Bush to take the gun issue seriously. Pat Thomas is one of them. In 1995 her son Jerome was at a party at a friend's house when a group of rowdy young men started bullying his friends.

The Microsoft Primary

Bill Gates didn't take the bait. Last April the Microsoft chief paid a quiet visit to the Texas governor's mansion for his first-ever meeting with George W.

The Other Drug War

Only last summer, the White House seemed wary of greater U.S. involvement in Colombia's vicious drug war. Republicans on Capitol Hill wanted to add muscle to Colombia's anti-drug forces, but administration officials favored more diplomacy.

How Mccain Does It

John McCain's feisty 88-year-old mother, Roberta, stood at the bar last week at a fashionable Washington book-signing party and, between bites of an hors d'oeuvre, declared that her son's presidential campaign is a "miracle." She said she had never seen any signs of political ambition in the boy as he grew up. "John has no side," she went on, using an old upper-class expression for lack of pretense. "He doesn't need money or to be famous or powerful." His actions were sometimes unpredictable,...

The Money Machine

You've probably never heard of Heinz Prechter. The diminutive 57-year-old Bavarian immigrant made a fortune by inventing the sunroof for the auto industry.

A Maverick's Paper Trail

On Dec. 16, John McCain held a highly unusual press conference with Democratic contender Bill Bradley to highlight their reputations as reformers and decry the current system of campaign finance.

Vietnam: The War Hero Takes Fire

John McCain was about to get ambushed. In June 1996 an angry group marched into the Arizona senator's Capitol Hill office and demanded to see him. While they waited, the visitors--activists calling for government action on U.S. soldiers still missing in Vietnam--scrawled nasty notes in the guest book. "McCain--You are a traitor!!" wrote one.

The Reformer Tunes His Money Machine

Charlie Ergen was grateful, and he knew how to show it. Last March, the satellite-television billionaire was in a nasty turf battle with the TV networks. Ergen, founder of EchoStar Communications, lobbied for a Senate bill that would let companies like his continue intercepting network signals--a practice the networks say is piracy.

Funding Clinton's Legacy

On the president's official schedule, the meetings are cryptically listed as "private events." In restaurants and hotel suites, surrounded by his most faithful and wealthiest supporters, Bill Clinton is quietly raising money for the project most important to him: the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library.For the president, frustrated by countless scandals over the years, the library that will bear his name has taken on a special urgency.

The Waco Flame-Up

The spent shell was sitting in plain sight. Sifting through the scorched rubble after the government's deadly 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, a member of the Texas Rangers was surprised to find the 40mm shell lying on the ground.

The Funeral-Home Flap

When Texas regulators launched a probe into funeral homes last year, Houston mortician Robert L. Waltrip fought back. A tough-talking tycoon, Waltrip is chief executive of Service Corporation International (SCI) Inc., which owns more funeral homes than anybody in the world.

The Right Wing Web

Adapted from "Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter's Story." (c)1999 Michael Isikoff. To be published by Crown Publishers, a Division of Random House, Inc., in April 1999.

Gore's Pollution Problem

THE NEWS FROM EAST TENNESSEE last Christmas was hardly comforting for Al Gore. A citizens' group was about to put up a nasty billboard resurrecting a ghost from the vice president's past: the Pigeon River.

Hold For The President

THE MESSAGE FROM THE White House secretary got Richard Jenrette's attention: the president wanted to talk to him. A powerhouse investment banker, Jenrette was used to politicians tapping him for contributions.

A Twist In Jones V. Clinton

THE PHONE CALL WAS provocative, to say the least. Early last January, Joseph Cammarata was preparing to help argue to the Supreme Court that his client Paula Jones should get a trial for her sexual-harassment suit against President Clinton, when--he says--the voice of a woman, distraught and hesitant, came on the line. "I had a similar thing happen to me in 1995," she said.

The Dark Side Of The Money Trail

THE PROPOSAL, MARKED ""PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL,'' was a model of bluntness. Entitled ""Background Research: Senator Don Nickles,'' the May 16, 1997, document, obtained by NEWSWEEK, outlined an extensive plan to scour the Oklahoma Republican's life for embarrassing or incriminating details: searching courthouses for ""civil, criminal, divorce and bankruptcy litigation''; hunting for ""fictitious name filings''; reviewing his and his wife's ""personal business activities.'' The goal was to...

'I Want Him To Admit What He Did.'

The Supreme Court rules that Paula Jones can have her day in court. The president desperately wants the case to go away - but it won't be easy.PAULA JONES SCREAMED WHEN SHE heard the news. ""Are you kidding me?'' she asked one of her lawyers, Joe Cammarata. ""Come on.

Oh, What A Tangled Webb. . .

IF WEBSTER HUBBELL FELT disgraced, he sure didn't show it. In the summer of 1994, just a few months after he quit a top job at the Justice Department amid allegations that he'd bilked his clients and his former law partners out of half a million dollars, Hubbell was living the good life.

A Shadowy Scandal

ROGER TAMRAZ WAS A MAN WITH a plan--and all he needed was a nod from the president of the United States. Tamraz, born in Cairo of Lebanese parents, is an oil tycoon with an M.B.A.

With Friends Like These...

HE WOULD CALL FROM THE LOBBY OF THE OLD EXECUTIVE Office Building--just yards from the White House. Johnny Chung rarely had an appointment, but he always carried the cachet of being a big-time Democratic moneyman--a Chinese-American entrepreneur who raised $366,000 that has since been returned because the party couldn't verify its true source.

From Little Rock To Malibu--And Back

EVEN BY WASHINGTON STANDARDS, IT WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY ABOUT-FACE. ON Friday, just four days after Ken Starr abruptly announced he would quit in August for a job as dean of Pepperdine law school in Malibu, the Whitewater independent counsel called yet another press conference--and took it all back.

The White House Shell Game

THERE WERE TWO weeks to go until Election Day, and the Democrats needed money--lots of it--to turn out their voters. On the night of Oct. 22 Bill Clinton was working a $1,500-a-person fund-raiser at the stately Biltmore Hotel in Miami when one of the guests slipped the president a business card.

Man In The Middle

BRUCE LINDSEY IS EVERYTHING Bill Clinton isn't--thin, shy, short and unassuming. But the top White House aide couldn't be closer to his boss. When the president took a boat across Sydney harbor in Australia last week, most aides waited on shore.

The Real Scandal Is What's Legal

August 2, 1996. The Jefferson Hotel, Washington. Upstairs, chief Clinton strategist Dick Morris ordered champagne and an intimate dinner for two. He wanted to celebrate, he told prostitute Sherry Rowlands, because earlier that day President Clinton signed the welfare bill, putting the election ""in the bag.'' Downstairs, as the Secret Service secured the hotel for the president's arrival, Democratic officials prepared for their own kind of political flesh-peddling-- another fund-raising dinner...

A Classified Critique

THE WAR ON DRUGS IS one of Bob Dole's favorite issues, and one he brought up frequently on Sunday night. One of his biggest attack points is a secret internal memo criticizing the Clinton administration's performance in the drug war.

The Real Hillary Clinton?

HIS EXPOSES OF ANITA Hill and the alleged philandering of Bill Clinton made David Brock, 34, the Bad Boy of right-wing journalism. Now comes his take on the woman conservatives love to hate: the First Lady.