Amid extraordinary security, a 1,000-page segment of the first draft of the Iran-contra committees report was presented to the House and Senate panels yesterday, with Senate panel vice chairman Warren B. Rudman (R-N.H.) saying it will tell "the complete story" of the affair as well as resolve conflicts in some key testimony.
While saying the report will include new information, Rudman declined to specify what additional information has been uncovered by investigators since the public hearings ended early last month. But he said it will not change the testimony that President Reagan was unaware of the diversion of funds from the Iranian arms sales to support the Nicaraguan contras.
Rudman's comments came after the bulk of the draft report's factual section -- estimated to be about 1,000 pages -- was presented to the House and Senate panels, which met separately behind closed doors.
Committee members will read the draft under extraordinary security procedures and have until Sept. 28 to suggest changes, according to spokesmen for the panels. Members can either read the draft in the offices of the House or Senate panel, or have it delivered to their own offices by a member of the panels' staff, who must sit outside while they review it, the spokesmen said. No drafts will be allowed to remain outside of the committee offices overnight.
The House and Senate panels, which held public hearings together, plan to issue a joint report by the end of October. Some members said yesterday they would not be surprised by a decision, particularly by House Republicans, to develop a minority report.
Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.), a staunch administration supporter on the panel, said he expects the wording of the final report to be "controversial."
"We're going to study it very carefully," Hyde said. "Either we'll sign it or do our own."
Rep. Bill McCollum (R-Fla.), another administration supporter on the panel, said he expects that he and other panel members will issue some individual perspectives on the affair, even though it is too early to say whether Republicans on the House panel will embrace the report or not.
In addition to the factual narrative, the final report will include a detailed chronology highlighting disputes in testimony, a summary and recommendations. Among possible changes that have been mentioned are improvements in the National Security Council operations and a possible proposal for creation of a single congressional committee to monitor intelligence agencies and covert operations.
Rudman expressed optimism that a majority of members can agree on a single report. "I am satisfied that the complete story will be known," he said. "As to disputes of facts, people will have to make up their own minds."