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John Poindexter

John Marlan Poindexter was convicted in April 1990 of multiple felonies as a result of his actions in the Iran–Contra affair, but his convictions were reversed on appeal in 1991. Poindexter was thought to be a member of Majority 12 during the Reagan administration (Lear).

==Background== John Poindexter is a retired United States naval officer and Department of Defense official. He was Deputy National Security Advisor and National Security Advisor for the Reagan administration. More recently, he served a brief stint as the director of the DARPA Information Awareness Office for the George W. Bush administration.

Iran–Contra affair[]

The Iran–Contra affair resulted from the discovery of the United States' involvement in sending money and weapons to Iran for the release of American hostages from Lebanon, and sending aid to the Contras. This involvement was in violation of the Boland Amendment which prevented the United States from directly or indirectly being involved with the Contras.[1] Evidence revealed that Poindexter was a leader in the organization of the transfer of the weapons to Iran and oversaw other people involved in the affair, such as Oliver North.

Poindexter and North communicated through a channel known as the "Private Blank Check" which Poindexter set up on a National Security Council (NSC) computer. Through this system, Poindexter and North were able to send messages back and forth without being intercepted by other NSC staff members. This system was not successful. Even though both Poindexter and North attempted to delete the messages, the White House Communications Agency was able to recover some of them, later used in trying Poindexter and North. On November 25, 1986, after the public disclosure of the Iran–Contra affair, Poindexter was forced to resign from his position as National Security Advisor.[2]

Poindexter was convicted on April 7, 1990, of five counts of lying to Congress and obstructing the Congressional committees investigating the Iran–Contra affair, which were investigating the Reagan Administration's covert arms sales to Iran and the diversion of proceeds to insurgents fighting to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The convictions were reversed in 1991 on appeal[3] on the grounds that several witnesses against him had been influenced by his testimony before Congress, even though Congress had given him immunity for that testimony.[4]