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Reagan Not Asked to Meet Walsh: Aide

September 01, 1987|Associated Press

SANTA BARBARA — President Reagan's spokesman said today that the White House has received no request from special prosecutor Lawrence E. Walsh to interview the President and will make no decision on the question until such a request is received.

Spokesman Marlin Fitzwater, responding to published reports, said White House officials spoke with Walsh's office last week and found aides to the special prosecutor "fairly negative" at that time about whether such a request would be made.

Walsh is investigating the possibility of criminal charges growing out of the Iran- contra affair.

In Washington, meanwhile, a source familiar with the case said Walsh is weighing whether to question Reagan orally or to submit written questions.

No decision has been made on how to proceed, said the source, who spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Will Decide Later

"We have not heard from the independent counsel concerning any request for direct information from the President," Fitzwater said. "We will evaluate any request we receive and decide at that time.

"The President has said from the beginning that he would cooperate appropriately with the independent counsel. Every effort has been made to cooperate."

When asked whether this meant such a request from Walsh would be honored, Fitzwater said: "We just can't say. We'll wait and see.

"We have no indication whether the independent counsel intends to ask the President for information or in what form.

Fitzwater said the most recent discussion with the counsel's office was about a week ago, after a story in the Wall Street Journal suggested that such a request might be made.

Today's report by the Washington Post said Walsh is likely to seek an interview with the President this fall. (Story, Page 14.)

Reagan was not asked to appear before the congressional committees investigating the sale of arms to Iran and diversion of funds to Nicaraguan rebels, but he was interviewed by the presidentially appointed Tower Commission.

The White House has turned over more than 250,000 pages of documents to congressional investigators.

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