WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House select committee on narcotics said Thursday that he is trying to learn whether there is a link between contra supply flights and drug smuggling but contended the Justice Department and CIA are stonewalling his panel.
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), the chairman, commented after Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese III refused to allow Drug Enforcement Agency officials to participate in a private briefing for his committee. The CIA also declined an invitation to attend, but the U.S. Customs Service sent four representatives.
Rangel said the customs officials were "slow in getting us the specific information we requested on flights and personnel. We gave them names."
The lawmaker threatened to hold a public hearing on the issue and promised to subpoena government witnesses, if necessary, to learn whether crews that resupplied the Nicaraguan rebels also flew drugs into the United States.