Clinton hopes the lawsuit is closer
President Bill Clinton, who has vowed to try to recoup the billions of dollars spent by the government on smoking-related illnesses, on Friday said he hoped the Justice Department was closer to filing a lawsuit against the tobacco industry.
Preparations for the lawsuit have dragged since Clinton's announcement in the State of the Union address in January, stalled partly by questions over whether the administration must get authority from Congress to bring the suit. Justice Department officials said on Friday they still were pursuing the facts and theories supporting such a lawsuit. But they admitted that any lawsuit may not be filed for months, possibly dragging into next year.