Lawyers for former President Reagan say he's ending his legal fight to suppress key parts of a report by Iran-Contra prosecutors that is highly critical of his role in the scandal.
"President Reagan is confident that the American public will evaluate the report . . . only in the context of the full record of Iran-Contra and President Reagan's response to the report," Reagan lawyer Theodore Olson said Thursday.Court objections by Reagan, former Attorney General Edwin Meese and ex-White House aide Oliver North have delayed the report's release for the past month.
On Jan. 7, a special panel of three federal appellate judges denied their requests for withholding much of the document - and "President Reagan will not seek Supreme Court review," Olson said.
The appellate judges have said they will release the report next week unless those who have sought to suppress it appeal to the Supreme Court.
The attempts to delete portions of the report were filed in secret, but sources familiar with the matter identified the three as the key Iran-Contra figures who filed court motions for suppression. It could not be determined if others have filed objections. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity.
"The public will be satisfied that President Reagan's conduct with respect to all Iran-Contra matters was above reproach and that he cooperated promptly and thoroughly with every investigation of Iran-Contra," Olson said.
The report by independent counsel Lawrence Walsh - the culmination of a seven-year criminal investigation - found that Reagan "set the stage" for the Iran-Contra scandal's illegal activities and that Meese concocted "a false account" of one of the arms-for-hostages deals with Iran, according to other sources who have read portions of the document.