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Deaver Lawyers Try New Bid to Block Charges

March 12, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — Former White House aide Michael K. Deaver asked a federal appeals court today to block a special prosecutor from moving--probably by week's end--to indict the longtime Reagan aide on perjury charges.

Deaver's lawyers, turned back late Wednesday by a federal judge in their first bid to thwart special prosecutor Whitney North Seymour's criminal investigation, filed a hurried motion with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for an emergency stay.

They also asked the court to consider the constitutionality of the 1978 Ethics in Government law creating court-appointed special prosecutors.

Stay Hoped for Today

The appeals court gave no indication of when it would rule. A lawyer for Deaver, Randall Turk, said he hoped the panel would grant the stay today "to preserve the status quo."

Sources familiar with Seymour's investigation said that, in the absence of a stay, the special prosecutor likely will move Friday to seek Deaver's indictment on at least four perjury counts. Seymour has led a yearlong probe into allegations the ex-White House aide violated government ethics laws with his lucrative lobbying activities and lied about his dealings to a House subcommittee.

Seymour, who acknowledged in open court last month that he was seeking Deaver's indictment, would become the first of eight special prosecutors appointed under the 1978 law to attempt to bring a criminal case.

In Public Interest

Responding to Deaver's emergency appeal challenging the law, Seymour argued in court papers that it was in the public interest for the case to go forward. He also noted that U.S. District Judge Thomas Jackson had questioned whether the constitutional challenge would succeed and declined to halt the probe.

Jackson said that Deaver was unlikely to prevail in his effort to overturn the ethics law.

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