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Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
February 22, 2011
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Publication Date: 
August 24, 1977
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-01208R000100230071-0.pdf99.05 KB
Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/02/22 : CIA-RDP90-01208R000100230071-0 NEW YORK TIMES 24 AUGUST 1977 ON PQce - U.S. Expected to Fight Disclosure Of F.B.I. Data in Ex-Agent's Trial By ANTHONY MARRO speelai to The New York Mmes WASHINGTON, Aug. 23-Justice Depart- break-ins and wiretaps by all agents, in- . ment lawyers are expected to ask a cluding those against foreign embassies Federal judge in New York to modify and consulates. or dissolve a sweeping. order that would "I would think that not only the bureau, require the Government. to produce but the State Department and the N.S.A. records of all warrantless wiretaps, mail I [the National Security Agency, which at- openings and break-ins by Federal Bureau tempts to intercept and decode foreign of investigation agents between 1947 and cable traffic] would object," a Justice De- 1972, sources said today. partment source said. ' - The order was issued Aug. 2 by District Mr. Kearney, the first bureau agent to Judge Kevin Duffy in response to pretrial be indicted on a felony charge. is repre- motions by attorneys for John J. Kearney, sented by Hubert Santos,. of Hartford, who said they needed the material for Conn.,, and by the firm of Williams & Mr. Kearney's defense. Connolly in Washington. Mr. Kearney, a former F.B.I. supervisor, His attorneys refused to comment today was' indicted last April on five felony I on the matted The apparent motive in charges stemming from allegedly illegal seeking the materials would be to show wiretaps and mail openings committed that such activities were so common at by agents under his command in their the time that Mr. Kearney had good rea- search for Weather Underground fugi- son to- believe he was operating under tives., }e it' t th h im o l t Several supporters of Mr. Kearney said they were hopeful that the department might abandon its prosecution if it could not get the order changed, but neither the Justice Department lawyers nor the defense attorneys would comment today on that possibility.' 'Very Sticky Problems' Officially, Justice Department spokes- men would say only that the matter was still being discussed by attorneys in- volved in the prosecution of Mr. Kearney, and that no decision had yet been made. Privately, however, several persons familiar with the case said today that the department lawyers were almost cer- tain to seek modification or dissolution of the order. One Justice Department offi- cial said that "some very, very sticky problems" could arise if the.order was not modified. . In addition, the sources said that offi- cials at the bureau itself would be likely to oppose the judge's order and. to urge the Justice- Department attorneys to-try to have it changed. ? . - . Thomas Harrington, a spokesman for ? the bureau, said that no one in the F..BI. would be able to comment on the matter. But a long-time agent there said today that "there's no question it's a problem, and there's no question (the department attorneys] will try to modify it." Sensitive Records . . One reason officials are concerned, the sources said, is that it would take a mas- sive clerical effort to assemble the mate- rial covering the 25 years that Mr. Kear- ney served as an agent. . A more important concern, they said, is that the order as it stands' would ap- pear to require records on all warrantless Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2011/02/22: CIA-RDP90-01208R000100230071-0 g a a .au n y is approving em. Possible Appeal Strategy Should the ' material not be provided, supporters of Mr. Kearney said, the de- fense lawyers would most likely argue that they were being denied material es- stential to their case. Judge Duffy already has said in his order that the Government would be able to hold back materials that could compro- mise investigations or cause undue injury or embarrassment to unrelated third parties. Even so, several Justice Department sources said today. the order is .one of the most sweeping ever issued against the bureau. Although Mr. Kearneyis'theonly agent indicted to date in connection with the search for the Weather-Underground fugi- tives, the Justice Department investiga- tion is still active and at least a half- dozen other middle-level and senior offi- cials are said to be targets of the inquiry. Defense Groups Ralso Funds Today, a group of four committees con- cerned about the investigation of bureau agents and of other intelligence officers and former officers announced that they had raised nearly $500,000 for legal costs. of the men, and had- already paid $110,000 in legal fees for 47 agents Who have been questioned about the alleged break-ins, wiretaps and mail openings. In addition, one of the groups, the Se- curity and Intelligence Fund, said it had sent a telegram to President Carter urg- ing him to reconsider the prosecution of Mr. Kearney and of'other intelligence agents facing legal difficulties because of !'past duties.in.the interest of national security." STAT