Bush Happy North Won’t Go to Prison; Avoids Pardon Issue
President Bush said Thursday he is glad that one-time White House aide Oliver L. North will not serve prison time for his Iran-Contra convictions.
But the President, in response to a reporter’s question, would not address the issue of a pardon.
When asked what he thought about the judge’s sparing North a prison sentence and whether he has considered a pardon, Bush replied:
“One, I’m happy he’s not going to jail. Two, I’m not going to comment further because this matter is under appeal and is in the federal courts.”
U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell sentenced North Wednesday to a three-year suspended sentence, two years of probation, $150,000 in fines and 1,200 hours of community service. North is expected to appeal.
Bush has refused to talk about the possibility of a presidential pardon for North, although 58 members of the House signed a letter asking him to grant one.