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Bush Happy North Won’t Go to Prison; Avoids Pardon Issue

From Associated Press

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.”

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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.


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