Selections from interchanges yesterday between counsel Arthur L. Liman, attorney Brendan V. Sullivan Jr. and Chairman Daniel K. Inouye: Liman: "Are you able to recall your conversation with Adm. {John M.} Poindexter on the 21st . . . without looking at that book?" Sullivan: "That's none of your business, either. You just ask him the questions . . . . Mr. Chairman, let's get -- let's get to the substance of these hearings and stop trying -- get off his back! . . . . Don't answer the question {Col. North}. Next question, Mr. Chairman -- it won't be answered!"

Liman: "Colonel, if you look at whatever it is in front of you, will that refresh you?" Sullivan: "Well, Mr. Liman, when he wants to look at something, he'll look at it. Don't you suggest what he looks at. Get on with the questioning . . . . If the witness wants to look at his notes . . . he'll do so for the answer. If he doesn't, he won't do so. If he thinks it helps him, he will look . . . . "

Inouye: "What are the grounds of your objection, sir?" Sullivan: "My grounds are that he will look at his book when he wants to look at his book and it's improper for any questioner to say, 'Look at your book and see if you can find an answer.' "

Liman: "Did you tell {Poindexter} that you were going to shred? . . ." Sullivan: "Mr. Chairman, may I object, please? There has to be a reasonable limit to questions posed about shredding. I mean, how many hours, how many days, how many times? The colonel has admitted shredding. I would say, conservatively, 125 times. I, please, respectfully ask, could we move on?"

Liman: "Would you have shredded less documents on the 22nd if you had been told that the attorney general {Edwin Meese III} was acting at the specific request of the president? . . . . " Sullivan: "Objection." Inouye: "What is the basis of your objection, sir?" Sullivan: "It is pure speculation -- dreamland. It has two 'ifs' in it. And Mr. Liman knows better than most . . . those kinds of questions, Mr. Chairman, are wholly inappropriate, not just because of rules of evidence, not just because you couldn't say it in a court, but because it's just dreamland. It's speculation . . . ."

Inouye: "I'm certain you realize that the rules of evidence do not apply in this inquiry." Sullivan: "That I know as well. I'm just asking for fairnesss -- fairness. I know the rules don't apply. I know the Congress doesn't recognize attorney-client privilege, a husband and wife privilege, priest-penitent privilege. I know those things are all out the window . . . ."

Inouye: "Let the witness object . . . ." Sullivan: "Well, sir, I'm not a potted plant. I am here as the lawyer. That's my job."