Abrams pleads guilty in cover-up Will cooperate with Iran-contra investigators.

October 08, 1991|By Boston Globe

WASHINGTON -- Former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, architect and defender of the Reagan administration's anti-communist policy in Central America, has pleaded guilty to charges that he misled Congress as part of the cover-up of U.S. aid to the Nicaraguan contra rebels.

As part of a surprise plea-bargain agreement, Abrams will cooperate with independent counsel Lawrence Walsh in his investigations. Sources familiar with the case said Abrams' cooperation would allow the special prosecutor to extend his probe further into the State Department.

In a prepared statement, Walsh said yesterday: "This is clearly an important development that should enable us to move more quickly and with thoroughness to the conclusion of our investigation."

Abrams admitted that he lied to the Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 10, 1986, about the extent of U.S. government involvement in the funding and supply of the contras and to the House Intelligence Committee four days later about his own solicitation of $10 million for the rebels from the sultan of Brunei.

Abrams, 43, could face up to two years in prison and $200,000 in fines, but is more likely to receive a suspended sentence in return for his plea and cooperation, prosecutors said. Sentencing for the two misdemeanor charges is scheduled for Nov. 15.

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