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Former Bush lawyer takes Fifth on assault

STAMFORD, Conn., March 23 (UPI) -- A former Bush administration lawyer charged with attacking his wife refused to answer questions at a Connecticut hearing, citing the Fifth Amendment.

John Michael Farren, 57, handcuffed and dressed in a jail jumpsuit, responded only to questions about his finances and his education and training at a hearing Monday, The Stamford Advocate reported.

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When a lawyer for Mary Farren asked him about the night of the alleged assault at the couple's home in New Canaan, he asserted his right to avoid incriminating himself.

Farren has been jailed since his arrest Jan. 6 on a charge of attempted murder.

Mary Farren, 44, filed a lawsuit seeking $15 million in damages from her husband. The hearing, which continues Thursday, is to determine whether there is probable cause to continue a freeze on $15 million in Farren's accounts.

In her testimony, Mary Farren said her husband beat and kicked her when she tried to discuss her divorce filing with him. She said her jaw was broken and she suffered other severe injuries that may interfere with her work as a lawyer.

Farren worked in the White House for both President George H.W. Bush and his son.

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