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REAGAN, BUSH HIDING FACTS, LAWYERS SAY

SHARE REAGAN, BUSH HIDING FACTS, LAWYERS SAY

President Bush and Ronald Reagan want to avoid the appearance they "are still attempting to hide the true facts regarding their involvement" in the Iran-Contra scandal, John Poindexter's lawyers told a federal judge.

Poindexter, Reagan's former national security adviser, is accused of five criminal charges and has subpoenaed Reagan's diaries and other documents to bolster his trial defense that Reagan was an active participant in the Iran-Contra affair.The Justice Department, representing Bush, and Reagan's personal lawyer are seeking to quash the subpoenas, authorized by U.S. District Judge Harold Greene. Poindexter's trial is set to begin Jan. 22.

In legal arguments to Greene, Poindexter's lawyers criticized Reagan and the Justice Department Thursday for raising the doctrine of executive privilege in their earlier briefs, without formally invoking it.

"Mr. Reagan and the Department of Justice ... have asked the court to provide them with all the protections provided by the doctrine of executive privilege, yet they are unwilling to assert the privilege at this time," Poindexter's lawyers said.

"Obviously, their legal position is carefully calculated to avoid subjecting them to the political consequences of their invoking the privilege, including the consequent public perception that Mr. Reagan and Mr. Bush are still attempting to hide the true facts regarding their involvement in the so-called Iran-Contra affair," Poindexter's legal brief said.