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Controversy Over Meese

April 10, 1988

Once again self-righteous politicians are demanding that the attorney general resign. The latest outcry came from Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd who not only demanded Meese's resignation, but has also called him "the crown jewel of the sleaze factor in the history of Reagan Administration" (Part I, March 31). That Meese is being asked to leave is nothing new. Repeated investigations of the attorney general have been conducted in the past because of suspected violations of government ethics laws. However, in all cases the result was the same--the attorney general was found to have committed no crime or breach of government ethics regulations.

Listening to Byrd's resignation demand, I wonder if he is actually interested in government ethics; for if he was, he along with other Democrats would be publicly supporting Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) who is formally petitioning the House Ethics Committee to investigate the ethical improprieties of House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Texas). Since that hasn't happened, what is Byrd's real motivation?

The answer is politics, pure and simple. Byrd is not at all interested in getting rid of Meese the man; he wants Meese the loyal supporter of the conservative principles that rebuilt our nation's economy and national defenses.

This strategy is not new. For years Democrats have been using the charge of ethics violations as a character assassination tool to rout the Reagan Administration of loyal conservatives.

I would suggest that Byrd and other Meese scalp hunters treat the attorney general by the same standards as everyone else--that one is innocent until proven guilty.

ROBERT L. SMITH II

Hawthorne

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