Oliver North offers a "shocking and cynical" view of democracy by arguing that his lies to Congress weren't crimes because other high officials deliberately misled lawmakers, Iran-Contra prosecutors say.
Responding to North's motions to dismiss charges he lied about his covert assistance of Nicaraguan rebels, prosecutors said the former White House aide's arguments are "incompatible with the aspirations of our system of government" and "inconsistent with any but the most jaundiced view of the realities of politics and government."The spirited attack on North was offered Monday by independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, who consented to a defense motion to dismiss a charge that the former Marine officer and National Security Council aide obstructed an investigation of who paid for a $13,800 security fence outside his house.
Lawyers for the retired Marine lieutenant colonel said any alleged fabrication of documents in December 1986 to conceal payments for the fence by arms dealer Richard V. Secord wasn't obstruction of justice because the Iran-Contra grand jury did not begin its work for another month.
While conceding a legal deficiency in one of 16 charges against North, Walsh's office urged the court to reject a series of defense motions to dismiss other counts of the indictment.
Prosecutors disclosed new details about North's destruction of key National Security Council documents in November 1986 as the Iran-Contra affair was unraveling.
North destroyed original copies of so-called "System IV" documents at the National Security Council that prosecutors called "the most sensitive records in the NSC's carefully constructed system of document control."