Completed Trials and Pleas
Elliott Abrams, assistant secretary of state — Pleaded guilty October 7, 1991, to two misdemeanor charges of withholding information from Congress about secret government efforts to support the Nicaraguan contra rebels during a ban on such aid. U.S. District Chief Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., sentenced Abrams November 15, 1991, to two years probation and 100 hours community service. Abrams was pardoned by President Georhe H.W. Bush on December 24, 1992.
Carl R. Channell, principal contractor for the OPD (now-defunct Office for Public Diplomacy)—Pleaded guilty April 29, 1987, to one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. U.S. District Judge Stanley S. Harris sentenced Channell on July 7, 1989, to two years probation. (Channell died in 1990 at age 44).
Thomas G. Clines, Central Intelligence Agency agent—Indicted February 22, 1990, on four felony counts of underreporting his earnings to the IRS in the 1985 and 1986 tax years; and falsely stating on his 1985 and 1986 tax returns that he had no foreign financial accounts. On September 18, 1990, Clines was found guilty of all charges. U.S. District Judge Norman P. Ramsey in Baltimore, Md., on December 13, 1990, sentenced Clines to 16 months in prison and $40,000 in fines. He was ordered to pay the cost of the prosecution. The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., on February 27, 1992, upheld the convictions. Clines served his prison sentence.
Alan D. Fiers, Jr. , Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's Central American Task Force during the Reagan administration—Pleaded guilty July 9, 1991, to two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress about secret efforts to aid the Nicaraguan contras. U.S. District Chief Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., sentenced Fiers January 31, 1992, to one year probation and 100 hours community service. Fiers was pardoned December 24, 1992.
Clair E. George, Deputy Director for CIA Operations —Indicted September 6, 1991, on 10 counts of perjury, false statements and obstruction in connection with congressional and Grand Jury investigations. George’s trial on nine counts ended in a mistrial on August 26, 1992. Following a second trial on seven counts, George was found guilty December 9, 1992, of two felony charges of false statements and perjury before Congress. The maximum penalty for each count was five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth set sentencing for February 18, 1993. George was pardoned on December 24, 1992, before sentencing occurred.
Albert Hakim, Iranian-born American citizen and businessman—Pleaded guilty November 21, 1989, to a misdemeanor of supplementing the salary of Oliver L. North. Lake Resources Inc., in which Hakim was the principal shareholder, pleaded guilty to a corporate felony of theft of government property in diverting Iran arms sales proceeds to the Nicaraguan contras and other activities. Hakim was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell on February 1, 1990, to two years probation and a $5,000 fine; Lake Resources was ordered dissolved.
Robert C. McFarlane, National Security Advisor to President Reagan from 1983 to late 1985 —Pleaded guilty March 11, 1988, to four misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress. U.S. District Chief Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., sentenced McFarlane on March 3, 1989, to two years probation, $20,000 in fines and 200 hours community service. McFarlane was pardoned December 24, 1992.
Richard R. Miller, right-wing fund-raiser—Pleaded guilty May 6, 1987, to one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. U.S. District Judge Stanley S. Harris sentenced Miller on July 6, 1989, to two years probation and 120 hours of community service.
Oliver L. North, National Security Council staffer in the Reagan administration and point man in the Iran-Contra scandal—Indicted March 16, 1988, on 16 felony counts. After standing trial on 12, North was convicted May 4, 1989 of three charges: accepting an illegal gratuity, aiding and abetting in the obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell on July 5, 1989, to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines and 1,200 hours community service. A three-judge appeals panel on July 20, 1990, vacated North’s conviction for further proceedings to determine whether his immunized testimony influenced witnesses in the trial. The Supreme Court declined to review the case. Judge Gesell dismissed the case September 16, 1991, after hearings on the immunity issue, on the motion of Independent Counsel.
John M. Poindexter, Deputy National Security Advisor and National Security Advisor for the Reagan administration —Indicted March 16, 1988, on seven felony charges. After standing trial on five charges, Poindexter was found guilty April 7, 1990, on all counts: conspiracy (obstruction of inquiries and proceedings, false statements, falsification, destruction and removal of documents); two counts of obstruction of Congress and two counts of false statements. U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene sentenced Poindexter June 11, 1990, to six months in prison on each count, to be served concurrently. A three-judge appeals panel on November 15, 1991, reversed the convictions on the ground that Poindexter’s immunized testimony may have influenced the trial testimony of witnesses. The Supreme Court on December 7, 1992, declined to review the case. In 1993, the indictment was dismissed on the motion of Independent Counsel.