WASHINGTON — Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) demanded the telephone logs of nine presidential assistants today, to learn whether there was any White House pressure on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to launch the space shuttle Challenger on Jan. 28.
"It is important the White House undergo the same scrutiny in this matter NASA is undergoing," Hollings said in a letter to White House counsel Fred Fielding.
He said he wanted telephone records of the nine assistants from midnight Jan. 20 to noon Jan. 28, a half hour after the launch.
Hollings acknowledged receiving logs from the Kennedy Space Center. The nine White House assistants whose records he asked for include chief of staff Donald T. Regan, director of communications Pat Buchanan and spokesman Larry Speakes.
"Rumors of White House involvement have persisted too long," Hollings wrote. "The time has come to be more open and put this issue to rest once and for all."
There was no immediate response from the White House.