Independent Counsel Unfairly Accused Edwin Meese
Former Independent Counsel James McKay's letter ("Independent counsel never released the Meese report," Aug. 11) responding to your editorial ("Ed Meese's revenge," Aug. 5) is disingenuous at best.
Mr. McKay is correct that the Special Division of the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and not his office, released his final report. But Mr. McKay wrote the report, which he knew the court would release to the public - as it had released every previous independent counsel report. Mr. McKay used his report to accuse former Attorney General Edwin Meese of crimes without ever charging him. Hence, Mr. McKay, among other things, violated Mr. Meese's Fifth Amendment due process rights.
Moreover, while the independent counsel law required Mr. McKay to provide a full accounting of his work and prosecutorial decisions, the law certainly did not require him to accuse an innocent, unindicted public figure of criminal conduct.
Mr. McKay was the first independent counsel to so abuse the law. Iran-Contra Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh followed Mr. McKay's precedent. Congress was so appalled by this conduct that it later amended the independent counsel statute to prevent it.
Mr. McKay chose to ignore the sound advice of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force (WSPF), which also was under pressure to make allegations of criminality against unindicted public officials. …