Rep. Andrew Jacobs Jr. (D-Ind.) has been dropped as a defendant from Marion G. (Pat) Robertson's $70 million libel suit, the television evangelist and Jacob's office said yesterday.
Robertson, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, had filed a libel suit in U.S. District Court here seeking $35 million each from Jacobs and former representative Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey Jr. (R-Calif.) over a letter McCloskey wrote Jacobs about Robertson's Marine service in 1952 during the Korean war.
McCloskey's letter to Jacobs, which Jacobs allegedly made available to the news media, suggested that Robertson used the influence of his father, the late senator Willis Robertson (D-Va.) to avoid Korean combat service.
Robertson, who has denied he asked his father to help him avoid combat, acknowledged in a deposition that he had not been in direct combat, but said his service technically qualified him as having served in combat and that he had received three battle stars and combat pay.
Jacobs was excused from the suit on grounds that he had not knowingly "published" false information about Robertson and had reason to believe the information from McCloskey was correct.
In declining to dismiss the suit against McCloskey, the court found some of his accusations against Robertson sufficient to require a jury to determine whether he had made false statements and done so maliciously.