WASHINGTON -- Leaders of three conservative groups, in support of the defendants in the Iran-Contra case, accused independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh Tuesday of wrongfully soliciting services from a Harvard law professor.
Peter Flaherty, chairman of Citizens for Reagan, Kenneth Boehm, treasurer of the Conservative Campaign Fund and F. Andy Messing Jr., executive director of the National Defense Council Foundation, alleged in a complaint filed with the Justice Department that Walsh violated a federal law prohibiting government employees from accepting services from private individuals.
They alleged Walsh unlawfully asked Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe to draft a legal memo free of charge, and they asked for the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate the charge.
The Justice Department had no immediate comment, although a spokesman later indicated the complaint had little merit.
Walsh, who won an indictment of Oliver North and three co-defendants in the Iran-Contra scandal, said in a statement, 'We have carefuly researched this issue, and are satisfied there is no violation whatever of the Anti-Deficiency Act.'
'We have communicated this conclusion to the Justice Department, which has expressed no disagreement, and has sought the views of its Office of Legal Counsel.'
Boehm said in a statement that the Anti-Deficiency Act 'is the same law that Walsh has accused Ollie (North) of breaking.
'Walsh's actions are just the kind of thing the law was designed to prevent. Walsh has sought to privatize our judicial process,' Boehm added.