Brad DeLong (1996): Should Reagan Have Been Impeached? Yes, But for Lack of Control Over His Administration
Boring and stupid. This will be my last comment on this thread. From time to time events will so transpire as to make it necessary for the president to act in contravention of the laws [as in Iran-Contra]…
Ah. But you see, President Reagan didn't. According to Reagan: he wouldn't have done so:
The first time I learned that the proceeds of any Iranian arms transactions might have been paid to any account used to provide weapons and military aid to the Nicaraguan Freedom Fighters -- what has been termed the ``diversion'' -- was on November 24, 1986, when Attorney General Edwin Meese reported to me that a memorandum had been found referring to such a use. I immediately instructed that the NSC, the leadership in Congress and the general public be told of this development.
I never authorized nor approved the
diversion,'' nor was I ever asked to authorize or approve it. I can recall no conversation or discussion whatsoever of any such idea prior to my conversation with the Attorney General. As noted above, I was unaware that any profits orresidual funds'' were to be generated by such sales.
It was only as the investigation by the Tower Board got underway that I learned of the operational roles of North, Secord or Hakim. I do not recall authorizing or approving, nor do I believe I was ever asked to authorize or to approve, operational details, such as what accounts were to receive payments.
It was only in my discussions with Attorney General Meese on November 24, 1986, and after that I learned any details of any bank accounts into which the proceeds of arms shipments were paid, or the retention of these proceeds by anyone other than the U.S. Government. I do not recall any discussion prior to that time concerning the proceeds of such sales, nor do I recall being asked for authority by anyone to use, control or retain these funds.
According to Reagan, his rogue staff undertook--on its own responsibility--to violate Article 2, Section 9. And, according to Reagan, they never asked him for his approval...