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CNN 20: Oliver North Admits Shredding Files, July 9, 1987Aired July 9, 2000 - 4:22 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oliver North revealed that he was shredding sensitive documents last November 22 in his White House office right in front of two Justice Department investigators who were there searching for evidence.
COL. OLIVER NORTH, U.S. ARMY: They were sitting in my office and the shredder was right outside, and I walked out and shredded documents.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Iran-Contra matter, which had its basis in Oliver North, was the Reagan administration -- quote -- "scandal." It's funny, there are frequently stories that absolutely consume almost everybody's attention virtually all the time on television, and this was one of those stories.
NORTH: I remember shredding documents while they were in there reading documents.
FRANKEN: There were files that were shredded, and he ordered the files shredded, files that were really critical, files that he had every reason to believe, they said, should not be destroyed because they could be evidence.
NORTH: Are you criticizing how well I did my shredding?
ARTHUR LIMAN, CHIEF SENATE COUNSEL: Colonel, my eyesight has suffered from reading what you left behind.
FRANKEN: Well, he never served any time in prison, although he was charged and, in fact, tried. This really became sort of an important career step for him. He probably would have preferred doing it in other ways, but after all the dust had settled -- it took awhile -- Oliver North came out of this thing far ahead of where he started.
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