WASHINGTON — Lobbyist and former White House official Michael K. Deaver today won court permission to raise alcoholism as a defense at his upcoming perjury trial.
Attorneys for Deaver, appearing at a hearing in U.S. District Court on several motions pending before the scheduled start in two weeks of his trial on five counts of lying about his post-government lobbying work, said the former top aide to President Reagan had twice checked into a detoxification program at Georgetown University Hospital--the first time just weeks after he left his White House job.
"He was a drinking alcoholic," said Deaver attorney Randall Turk, arguing that Deaver's condition impaired his ability to recall specific episodes while under oath before a federal grand jury and congressional subcommittee.
"No one will question (that) people under the influence of alcohol have their memory impaired," Turk said. The former White House chief of staff was hospitalized June 3, 1985, and in October, 1986, and was heavily medicated with Librium and Valium, he said.