Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter made these points in his testimony yesterday.
ON WHAT ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS DID NOT ASK
President Reagan, Attorney General Edwin Meese III and former chief of staff Donald T. Regan, in their final conversations with Poindexter last November, did not ask what he knew about the diversion of U.S.-Iran arms sales profits to the contras, and Poindexter did not explain why he had approved the diversion without telling his colleagues and superior.
Poindexter was forced to resign when the secret diversion scheme was revealed.
ON DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE
He destroyed documents and took no steps to prevent Lt. Col. Oliver L. North from destroying a notebook that was relevant to Meese's inquiry, hinted that other documents should be done away with and admitted that his objective was to "withhold information from Congress."
The admission that he destroyed evidence raises questions about whether Poindexter obstructed justice or participated in a criminal conspiracy. According to legal experts, the crucial question is whether at the time he destroyed a signed presidential "finding" he knew there was a criminal investigation under way and acted with intent to impede it.
Two-thirds of 767 Americans surveyed in a Washington Post-ABC News poll said they believe Poindexter is "covering up" for others in the administration. A majority of those surveyed said he is covering up for the president.
ON WHAT COL. NORTH ASKED HIS BOSS
Poindexter, contradicting his former National Security Council aide, said he did not recall North asking him on Nov. 21 whether Reagan has been told of the diversion to aid the contras, which had begun the previous February. North testified that he undertook the diversion assuming from conversations with Poindexter that he had presidential authority and first learned on Nov. 21 that Reagan had not known.
ON TAPING TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS AT THE CIA
Poindexter was unaware that a telephone conversation he had with the late CIA Director William J. Casey was tape recorded by a CIA system for overseas communications. Several conversations "pertinent" to the Iran-contra affair also were taped. Members of the joint committees said they have a transcript of the Poindexter-Casey call and will release it when it is declassified.