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  Patrick Buchanan's Brother Faces Gun Charge

By Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 20, 1999; Page A17

The older brother of presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan is facing a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon after allegedly brandishing a gun at a Northwest Washington home owned by a relative of a top State Department official, relatives said yesterday.

Hank Buchanan, 61, is expected to surrender to police within a few days, his brother Tom Buchanan, 45, a lawyer, said last night. Tom Buchanan added that he understood that a warrant had been issued for his brother's arrest.

Hank Buchanan, who family members said is a manic depressive, checked into Sibley Memorial Hospital in Northwest Washington this week for treatment of mental illness, Tom Buchanan said.

The allegation stems from an incident Sunday in which an intruder broke into the garage of Cody Shearer, a freelance journalist and brother-in-law of Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Buchanan's relatives confirmed.

The intruder slashed the car tires and, when confronted by two house guests, "brandished a handgun" before fleeing to a parked car, according to a statement issued by Shearer's attorney, William J. Murphy. Shearer turned the license plate number over to police.

Last week, cable TV show host Chris Matthews suggested on his "Hardball" program that Shearer intimidated Kathleen Willey -- who has accused President Clinton of groping her in the Oval Office -- outside her Richmond home in January 1998. Through his attorney, Shearer denied the allegations and said he was in California during the period in question. Matthews apologized Monday on the air for not withholding Shearer's name "until we had vetted it."

Patrick Buchanan, 60, visited his brother in the hospital earlier this week and was campaigning in Louisiana yesterday, said Bob Adams, a spokesman for the Buchanan campaign.

Bay Buchanan, 50, said her brother Hank has had "mental health problems for the better part of 30 years. He was doing terrifically; this is a real tragic setback."

Staff writers Ceci Connolly and Thomas B. Edsall contributed to this report.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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