Wiki: Caspar Weinberger

Caspar Willard "Cap" Weinberger (August 18, 1917 – March 28, 2006), was an American politician and businessman. As a prominent Republican, he served in a variety of prominent state and federal positions for three decades, including Chairman of the California Republican Party, 1962–68. Most notably he was Secretary of Defense under Republican President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1987.[1]

Born in San Francisco, California, Weinberger served in the 41st Infantry Division in the Pacific theater of World War II. His entry into politics was as a California State Assemblymanfrom 1953 to 1959, and he would go on to serve as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. An accomplished private sector businessman, he later became vice president and general counsel of Bechtel Corporation, and still later Chairman of Forbes.
His tenure as Secretary of Defense is the third longest in U.S. history, and spanned the final years of the Cold War. He is also known for his key role in the administration's Strategic Defense Initiative and later indictments in the Iran–Contra affair. He was awarded both the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1987 and an honorary British knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II....

...Iran–Contra affair[edit source | edit]
The Iran–Contra affair concerned the selling of US missiles to Iran. The funds received from Iran were then channeled to guerilla rebels known as Contras, who were fighting the socialist government of Nicaragua.[19] Such funding had been specifically denied by the US Congress. Though he claims to have been opposed to the sale on principle, Weinberger participated in the transfer of United States Hawk and TOW missiles to Iran during the Iran–Contra affair.

This resulted in scandal and several investigations which resulted in fourteen administration officials being indicted, including Caspar Weinberger who resigned before trial.[20][21][22] Following his resignation as Secretary of Defense, legal proceedings against him were brought by Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh. A federal grand jury then indicted Weinberger on two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice on June 16, 1992.[23] He was defended by defense attorney Carl Rauh.

Prosecutors brought an additional indictment four days before the 1992 presidential election. This was controversial because it cited a Weinberger diary entry contradicting a claim made by President George H.W. Bush. Republicans claimed that it contributed to President Bush’s defeat. On December 11, 1992, Judge Thomas F. Hogan threw out the indictment because it violated the five-year statute of limitations and improperly broadened the original charges.[24]

Before he could be tried on the original charges, Weinberger received a pardon from President George H. W. Bush, who was Reagan's vice president during the scandal, on December 24, 1992.[21]...


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