These points were made yesterday during testimony by Fawn Hall, secretary to fired National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Oliver L. North, and Bretton G. Sciaroni, counsel to the President's Intelligence Oversight Board.
ON SHREDDING DOCUMENTS:
Hall testified that she altered documents and helped shred a foot-and-a-half-thick stack of sensitive papers at North's direction after an FBI investigation had begin into the Iran-contra affair. She said that on Nov. 25, the day North was fired, she found several documents that had escaped the earlier shredding and slipped them past White House guards by hiding them in her boots and in the back of her clothing. One of the documents she smuggled out was the minutes of the May 1986 meeting in Tehran at which former national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane tried to use weapons sales to Iran to buy the freedom of U.S. hostages in Lebanon. She said the shredded documents included memos, copies of North's telephone logs and computerized inter-office memo that NSC officials used to communicate with one another. At one point the shredding activity became so intense that the machine jammed, she said. Testifying under a grant of immunity, Hall said she felt a "little uneasiness when I was doing it, but I believed Col. North must have had a good reason, and I did what I was told."
ON NORTH'S RELATIONSHIP TO REAGAN:
Hall said that although previous witnesses had testified that they felt North left them with the impression he was working closely with the president, she said he never received any phone calls from Reagan. She also said that as far as she knew, he never had any "one-on-one" meetings with the president, although North once said he had been "at the residence."
ON THE BOLAND AMENDMENT:
Sciaroni said he stands by his legal opinion that the Boland Amendment that limited official U.S. aid to the anti-Sandinista rebels in Nicaragua did not apply to the National Security Council. He said that when he investigated North's activities in 1985 he had not seen documents in the committee's possession showing how deeply immersed North had become in aiding the rebels, but said that even if he had seen the documents he would not significantly have changed his legal opinion. Sciaroni also testified that this was his first job as a lawyer and that he had flunked the bar examination four times, before passing it in Pennsylvania.