Washminster

Washminster
Washminster

Monday, 29 April 2013

Philip Lacovara


I'm currently making (I hope) final amendments to my Ph.D. dissertation on Whips in the UK Parliament and US Congress. While searching for the date of a particular event (the event was described in a previous section on 95th Congress, but is being shifted to a description of the challenges faced by John Brademas [Majority Whip in the 95th and 96th Congresses], so I needed the date) - I discovered an interview in the "Washington Lawyer" of January 2005.

It was given by Philip Lacovara. My interest in him resulted from his resignation as head of an investigation into the Koreagate scandal. A South Korean, Tongsun Park, had been seeking to buy influence with members of Congress. He was ultimately indicted for bribery and corruption. [He escaped punishment in exchange for testimony but reappears in the Iraq "Oil for Food" scandal, for which he served time in prison]. Lacovera resigned because of disagreements he had with the Ethics Committee chair, John J Flint. John A Farrell ["Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century"] says the argument was "over [Lacovara's] aggressive pursuit of John Brademas and John McFall", while contemporary newspaper stories refer to concerns that Lacovara had about the infrequency of committee meetings hampering his investigation. [Congressional Quarterly Almanac 1977] In the 2005 article he said "I had a flap with the committee chairman, who, in my view, was obstructing the investigation"

Lacovara had been an assistant to the Watergate special prosecutors, Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski. He appeared before the Supreme Court to argue that Nixon should be ordered to hand over the tapes of meetings he had been involved in. [US v Nixon]. At the time of his involvement in investigated Watergate and Koreagate, he was only in his early thirties. The interview can be accessed here.

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