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Deaver Loses Bid Attacking Special Counsel

October 05, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Michael K. Deaver, the former presidential aide who is to stand trial later this month on perjury charges, today lost a Supreme Court appeal aimed at scuttling his prosecution.

The court, without comment, let stand a decision that Deaver prematurely pursued his challenge of a federal law that provides special independent counsels to investigate top government officials.

Deaver, a high-ranking member of President Reagan's staff from 1980 through 1985, was indicted earlier this year. His trial, after a false start in July, is rescheduled to begin Oct. 19.

Deaver became the first person ever indicted under a law authorizing court appointment of independent counsels, sometimes called special prosecutors, to investigate top officials in the federal government's executive branch.

Saying he is innocent of the perjury charges, Deaver also contends the law is unconstitutional.

Today's action does not preclude the nation's highest court from again considering the challenge if Deaver were to be convicted.

If convicted, he could receive up to 25 years in prison.

Deaver still has a separate appeal pending before the justices. In it, he challenges a federal appeals court ruling that jury selection for his trial generally must be conducted in public.

That dispute caused U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to halt Deaver's trial after jury selection had begun last July.

Deaver was indicted on charges of lying to Congress and a federal grand jury about his lobbying activities after leaving the White House.

The indictment alleged, among other things, that Deaver lied to the grand jury when he denied contacting anyone in the government in behalf of Trans World Airlines. According to the indictment, Deaver contacted Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Hanford Dole regarding TWA's efforts to block or delay Carl Ichan's taking control of the airline.

The indictment was sought by independent counsel Whitney North Seymour Jr. after a 10-month investigation.

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