Government sources say the FBI is investigating the office of Rep. William Gray III, but the fourth-ranking House Democrat denied any wrongdoing and questioned the timing of news leaks about the probe. The FBI is conducting a preliminary inquiry into allegations dealing with personnel and expenditures in the office of the Pennsylvania Democrat, said the sources, who asked anonymity.

Mr. Gray, who is seeking the post of majority whip in a leadership shuffle that hinges on the expected resignation of House Speaker Jim Wright, denied at a news conference Tuesday night that he was a ``target'' or ``subject'' of a probe.

Chief Justice Department spokesman David Runkel said he could not discuss ``anything that has been reported about Mr. Gray or any of Mr. Gray's comments.'' In Philadelphia, Assistant US Attorney Thomas Lee II also declined comment. Gray chairs the House Democrat Caucus.

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