Miss Hall, would you
please bring the microphone right close to you so that we may hear
you. That's a voice activated microphone, and it has to be very
Miss Hall, after you declined to answer any questions of the
staff on the ground that your answer might tend to incriminate you,
both the House and Senate committee secured orders of use immunity
compelling you to testify. These orders provide, in substance, that
you may not refuse to provide evidence on the basis of your privilege
against self-incrimination. The orders provide that evidence
obtained you, under the order, may not be used against you in any
criminal proceeding. A copy of the orders have been provided to your
counsel, and pursuant to the order, I direct you to answer the
questions put to you, and I yield to the Chairman of the Senate
I wish to have the record show that I concur
with the Chairman's order.
Miss Hall is prepared to to accept the
direction, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, sir. Miss Hall, I understand you
have an opening statement. Am I correct?
And you may proceed.
I'd like to begin with my name. My name is Fawn
Hall, and I reside with my parents in Northern Virginia, where I was
born and raised. I attended Annandale High School and graduated in
1977. I started working at the age of 15, and at 16, while still in
high school began my career in government, working for the Department
of the Navy. During this period, I also held various part-time jobs,
including modeling. I worked for the Navy from 1977 until February
of 1983. In February 1983, I was detailed by the Department of
Defense to the National Security Council and accepted a position as
secretary to then Major Oliver North, United States Marine Corps.
I was Lt. Col. North's personal secretary until he left the
National Security Council on November 25th, 1986.
For the nearly four years that I worked for Lt. Col. North, my
hours were long and arduous. But I found my job to be most
fulfilling. During my tenure at the National Security Council, I
came to have enormous admiration and respect for not only Lt.Col.
North, but for many with whom we worked. I admired them, not only for
their hard work and professional abilities, but also for their
selflessness, and deep sense of dedication and loyalty to the
President and our country.
As a secretary, it was my job to
facilitate the smooth operation of the office. I was a dedicated and
a loyal secretary, and performed my duties in exemplary manner. I
During November 1986, events occurred at the National Security
Council which have resulted in my being here today. Although I did
not know many of the details relevant to the Iran and contra
initiative, I strongly believed then as I do now that the efforts
made to support the contras,
obtain the release of the American citizens being held hostage, and
respond to moderates in a country as strategically as important as
Iran were carried out with only the best of intentions in the
interests of this country, the United States.
North had a large portfolio in the NSC staff. He
worked tirelessly to carry out the Administration's policies with
regard to Central America, international counter-terrorism. Much of
his work is widely recognized. The streamlining of crisis
management, the President's National Bipartisan Commission on Central
America, the liberation of Grenada, the Administration's actions in
eliminating death squad activities in El Salvador, the U.S. response
in Libya to Col. Qadhafi's actions against U.S. citizens and
interests, the actions to end the numerous terrorist attacks on our
innocent persons, such as the TWA 847 and Achille Lauro incident, and
the daily efforts to obtain the release of our American citizens held
hostage in Beirut -- these are major issues of which he was a central
and effective player. But they do not include his day-to-day
responsibilities of dealing with other inter-agency issues or public
I admire Lt. Col. North for his professional integrity and
beliefs, his personal commitment to this country, and his ability to
be a friend, when one is needed. I'd like to take the time to
reflect a little bit on Col. North's -- I was very touched by one time.
We were working in the office, and then we were working on a crisis.
And a gentleman walked into the office and delivered us a copy of the
National Bipartisan Commission report, and explained that an
American citizen, an electrician had found it in a hotel and had seen
the Presidential seal and thought it to be in a very important document
that he should get back to the White House. And it made its way up
from the Sit Room, I believe, to Col. North because it had to do with
Central America. Col. North at this time said he was very touched by
the fact that someone had taken the time to return what he thought
was an important document, and he was touched by it, also, and said,
"I think we should try to see if we can't get the President to write
this man a letter and thank him." And I think that reflects a little
bit on Col. North's sensitivity. I think it's important.
I believe Lt. Col. North has been and continues to be completely
loyal to the President and the United States. I would also like at
this time to recognize his wife Betsy and their four children for
their commitment and their sacrifices.
I have cooperated fully with the independent counsel's
office and with members of this staff and this committee. In
particular, I have been treated with great courtesy and respect by
Chief Counsel Arthur Liman, Executive Assistant Mark Belnick, and Chief Counsel John Nields, and
Deputy Counsel Richard Leon of the House. I appear here to testify
and cooperate fully with you, as to my personal knowledge of the
events into which this Committee is inquiring. My testimony will be
based solely upon my perspective as a secretary, not that of a
policymaker or a policy analyst.
I would prefer to have remained a relatively obscure but
responsible secretary at the National Security Council, doing, as a
friend of mine paraphrased Franklin Roosevelt, "the best I know how
at the moment for what is right." That option now having been
foreclosed, I am prepared to answer your questions to the best of my
Thank you, Ms. Hall. The questions will
begin with Mr. Belnick.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ms. Hall, I take it
you've spent your entire adult
career working for various government departments.
From June 1976 to October 1977, you were a
clerk-steno secretary assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations of
the Department of Navy.
Thereafter, from October 1977 until February
1983, you were assigned as an administrative support assistant to
the Chief of Naval Operations.
Starting in February 1983, as you said in your
opening statement, until November 25, 1986, you were a secretary to
From November 25, 1986, until January 9, 1987,
you served as a secretary to Ambassador Oakley.
And from that time until the present, you've been
employed at the Department of Defense as a secretary.
Ms. Hall, would you describe what your general
duties were for Lt. Col. North during the period that you served as
his personal secretary?
I carried out the normal responsibilities of a
I answered phones, took messages, relayed messages,
typed, filed, kept a calendar, took care of his travel, etcetera.
Was it your practice, at any time, to sit in on
meetings that Col. North had?
To listen in on telephone conversations?
Did -- Was it Col. North's practice, from time to time,
to discuss his activities at the office with you?
Now you say you kept Col. North's calendar. Was
that a fairly accurate record of Col. North's meetings on a daily
I believe so.
And would you turn in your book to Exhibit FH9
and tell us whether you recognize that
exhibit as consisting of certain pages from the calendar you kept
for Col. North?
Now, did you also keep a log of Col. North's
incoming telephone calls?
Yes, I did.
And that, too, was a fairly accurate record of
I wouldn't call it an accurate record. It was a log
-- it was a -- I didn't keep all incoming calls. If he was there to
receive a call, it did not go in the log. That was just to keep
track of messages which he needed to return, calls he needed to
return. It was not an accurate record of outgoing calls or incoming
You kept a record of those calls that needed to
be returned --
-- when messages were left. And do you know
where those logs are today?
They were shredded.
In November of 1986.
We'll get to that later. Would you describe what
your working hours were like, Ms. Hall, during the four years that
you served Col. North?
We worked very long hours. I usually worked -- put in at
least a 12 to -- 12-hour day.
Usually starting when?
It varied. Sometimes I would start at 8:00, a lot of
times I started at 10:00, and we worked on 'til 9:00 or 10:00 at
night usually, sometimes later, and sometimes earlier.
You rarely left the office, as I understand,
before 7:00 or 8:00 in the evening.
Okay. Was it Col. North's practice to dictate memoranda
of his meetings?
No, it wasn't.
Would he at certain times dictate minutes of
meetings he attended?
He would dictate minutes as requested by the
National Security Council in which the President was present.
And as I understand it, on those occasions when
Col. North dictated memoranda to you, you usually typed them
directly into your word processor.
Now, do you recall the matters, the general
matters, that Col. North was working on when you became his
secretary in 1983, and as it progressed over the years?
I believe when I first began working for him he was
working on development of a Crisis Management Center and he was
working military exercises and Central America. And then when the
terrorism incidents began to become more frequent, he picked up that
as part of his -- his duties.
And in the course of time, as we'll discuss
further, you became at least familiar with his work on what is now
known as the Iran initiative?
And you also became familiar with his work in
support of the Nicaraguan freedom fighters?
All right. Now, Miss Hall, I'd like to turn with
you to a description of Colonel North's offices. My understanding
is that when you first came to work for Colonel North in February of
1983, he was in room 392 of the Old Executive Office Building?
And that was a one-floor office?
Colonel North had a private office there?
And you worked outside that office?
All right. Now, sometime in early 1986, Lt. Col.
Robert Earl and Commander Craig Coy began to work with Colonel
North, is that correct?
Yes, it is.
And they were assigned reporting to him as part
of the unit that Colonel North headed up at the National Security
There came a time, as I understand, in May of
1986 when you moved offices?
And when was that move, Miss Hall?
It was in May of 1986.
Was it around the time that Lt. Col. North and
Mr. McFarlane went to Tehran?
It was during that time, yes.
And what suite did you move to?
All right. Now, do you recall that during one of our
interviews I asked you to prepare a sketch of Suite 302 and you did
that for us?
Now would you look at the FH Exhibit 10, and
confirm that that is a rendering of the sketch you prepared for us
of Suite 302?
Yes, it is.
And we also have a blown-up version of that
office on the side. Now Suite 302 was a two-floor office, correct?
Colonel North's office was downstairs?
And your desk was immediately outside his office?
Next to you was a secretary named Barbara Brown?
She came to the NSC around June of 1986?
I believe so, yes.
And she was the secretary for Lt. Col. Earl and
for Commander Coy?
All right. Upstairs in the second floor of Suite
302, Commander Coy's office was on the left of the diagram, correct?
And Colonel Earl's office over on the right?
All right. Now if you'll go back to the first
floor of Suite 302 and look directly opposite your desk, that's
where the shredding machine was?
And there are two safes next to that. One of
those safes, the one to the left which is highlighted in blue on our
chart, was a five-drawer safe, correct?
Where was that safe when you were in your
previous office, room 392?
It was inside Colonel North's private office.
Had you ever seen the safe opened when it was in
Colonel North's private office in room 392?
What did the safe contain when you saw it opened,
at that time, prior to May, 1986?
In the top drawer, it contained miscellaneous files
and projects -- perhaps someone might come in and talk to him and he
might just -- they might write a letter or something about an idea they had, and
he would just file it away in a file there. And, also military
exercises. The second, third, and fourth drawer, I believe, held
files that were completely unrelated to either Central America or
Iran. And, the bottom drawer held three-ring large notebooks which,
I believe, were trip reports that the Security Advisors had taken to
the regions, to visit the heads of state, etcetera.
Did you have the combination to that safe?
At one time I did, yes.
Did you ever have occasion to open it, yourself?
And that was to file papers, when you were in the
Did you ever see that office safe opened again
after you moved to suite 302?
I don't believe so, sir.
Not until November 25 -- not until November
And is that the safe from which Colonel North
removed files to be shredded?
All right. Did Colonel North make it a practice
to take notes of his daily activities?
Yes, he did.
And where did he make those notes?
He kept a thin, spiral, reporters notebook.
All right. And he carried that with him?
Yes, he did.
And he marked down items to be completed,
meetings, and so forth.
I understand that Colonel North -- Colonel Earl
maintained a similar notebook?
Yes, he did.
Do you know where Colonel North's notebooks are
I don't, sir.
Have you seen any of those notebooks subsequent
to Colonel North's dismissal from the NSC on November 25, 1986?
Yes I have, sir.
Where did you see them?
On occasion, I visited Brendan Sullivan's office --
that is his lawyer -- to drop off telephone messages from friends
and acquaintances and fan mail, and I was in the office and I
noticed that there was a stack of them in the corner. I mean --
there was a stack of notebooks that -- I don't know that they were
his -- but they were reporters notebooks that -- similar.
They appeared to you to resemble those in which
he had made notes?
But you didn't go over and look at the notebooks,
and so you can't say for sure whether those are the same notebooks
that Colonel North maintained?
Do you remember how many you estimated that you
saw in the stack in Mr. Sullivan's office?
All right. You identified Mr. Sullivan as Mr.
North's current attorney?
Yes, I do.
Now, Miss Hall, did there come a time, when you
were in the old office, prior to May 1986, that certain secure
communication devices, referred to as, "KL-43's," were delivered to
Colonel North's office?
And who delivered those devices?
I believe they came from John Wobensmith of the
National Security Agency.
All right. And do you recall how many such KL-43
machines Mr. Wobensmith delivered initially?
A couple, I believe.
Did anyone instruct you on how to use the
I believe Col. North did.
What did he tell you about how to use it and what
the purpose of the KL-43 was?
He instructed me how manually to use it, and I
understood it to be a secure communications -- as acting much like a
And over the course of time you became familiar
with the fact that General Secord had such a device in his office --
-- and that it was used by General Secord and
also by Robert Dutton.
Now the device came with a printer?
It did, yes.
But it was ordinarily your practice, as I
understand, to transcribe the messages that came over the machine,
type them and give them to Col. North that way.
And that those papers were frequently referred to
as KL-43 traffic, correct?
All right. Now you were familiar with General
Secord's administrative assistant?
Her name was --
And from time to time, did you have occasion to
deliver tapes for the KL-43 machines to Ms. Napier?
Yes, I did.
Would you describe first, for the committees,
what these tapes were?
It was a small case that had perforated code tapes
on it that you ripped off one for each day and plugged into the
machine and destroyed at the end of the day.
And these were coded tapes, correct?
Supplied to you by or through Mr. Wobensmith?
They changed periodically?
And so it became necessary for you to make sure
that General Secord had the updated tapes, and you did that by
delivering the tapes to Ms. Napier.
She would pick them up at the Old Executive
Yes, I would meet her out on 17th Street, outside
the Old Executive Office Building.
All right. In the course of working with the KL-43 traffic
and otherwise in the office, booking Col. North's travel
arrangements, did you become aware of certain of the names that Col.
Yes, I did.
And the name -- what was the name he ordinarily
used when he traveled?
William P. Goode.
And on the KL-43 messages, did Col. North refer
to himself, and was he referred to frequently by yet another code
He -- I think he was used as "Goode" in the KL-43s.
All right. Were there other documents relating to
his work with the contras in which Col. North used a different code
He at one time used the name "Mr. Steelhammer."
You recognized that as a name for Col. North, and
there were other pseudonyms used by Mr. Calero. Do you recall?
Do you recall that Mr. Calero was referred to
from time to time as "Barnaby"?
Yes, he was referred to as "Barnaby" or "AC" or
In the course of your work, you came to know
And did he have a name for Col. North as well?
I remember him referring to him as "Mr. Green"
on a few occasions.
All right. I'd like to talk with you now, Ms. Hall, about
some of Col. North's relationships with certain persons in and
outside the government. You knew that the late Director Casey had
an office at the Old Executive Office building during his term as Director of the Central Intelligence
Was Director Casey a frequent caller to Col.
I would say he was, considering the fact that he was
And -- and that Col. North was a member of the NSC
Did he visit Col. North at times?
I believe he visited our old suite, Room 392, on two
And, Col. North went to meetings in Director
Casey's office. Correct?
They had, from your observation, a fairly close
relationship, again given their relative positions in the government?
And you heard Col. North refer to the DCI from
time to time as "Bill"?
You wouldn't compare that relationship in any way
as the same as Col. North's dealings with the Secretary of State or
the Secretary of Defense?
Okay. What about Attorney General Meese? Did he call on
Col. North from time to time?
I believe -- I don't know that he called frequently.
I would say it was maybe once or twice, and I believe that Col. North has
visited Attorney General Meese on at least one occasion.
Prior to November 1986?
All right. Did Col. -- were you aware of any
telephone calls to Col. North from the President prior to November
Did Col. North ever tell you that he had received
any such calls from the President?
Were you aware of any one on one meetings between
Col. North and the President of the United States prior to November
And, again Col. North never claimed to you that he
had had such meetings. Correct?
Do you know whether Col. North ever visited the
residence at the White House?
I believe he did on one occasion.
Do you recall when that was?
No, I don't, sir.
How do you know that that occurred?
I remember that he came back and mentioned that he
said something about having been over in the residence, and I think
that Mrs. Reagan was also there.
Did he mention why he had been there, or what had
been discussed while he was there?
And, that was again on only one occasion?
And, I understand that the Vice President did not
make any calls to Col. North so far as you're aware?
I believe the Vice President called on one occasion,
and I remember that was in Room 392.
When was that?
I would say -- I, I -- late 1985, probably.
Did Col. North tell you what he and the Vice
President discussed on that occasion?
Is that the only occasion of which you're aware
that the Vice President telephoned Col. North?
How about any meetings between Col. North and the
Vice President? Are you aware of any?
On how many occasions?
I, I don't know exactly on how many occasions, but
I'd like to explain that the Vice President worked very closely on
the hostage situation, and the families visited often, and Col. North
handled that issue. So, he was involved with the Vice President on
Were these one on one meetings?
No, they were not, sir.
Are you aware of any meetings that were solely
between the Vice President and Col. North?
Michael Ledeen? How would you describe his
relationship with Col. North?
I would say they were friends and associates.
Did Michael Ledeen visit Col. North's office
Yes, he did.
For what purpose, so far as you observed?
I believe that Michael Ledeen was the consultant to
the NSC on terrorism and he came to the office to read daily DIA
terrorism summaries and monthly summaries. He was there for a
And, it was up to Col. North to designate what
things he could read while Mr. Ledeen was in the office?
Outside of the daily summaries and monthly summaries,
All right. Did you come to know Rich Miller and
Spitz Channell while you were working for Col. North?
Yes, I did.
And what did you understand their role to be in
relation to assistance for the Nicaraguan freedom fighters?
When I first met them, I understood they were trying
to get word out to educate the American people, to get the word out
about what was the situation that was in Central America through TV
commercials, advertisements and public speeches by Col. North.
In the course of your activities, did you become
aware, or come to form the impression that Messrs. Miller and Channell
were engaged in raising money for military assistance for the
I had on a few occasions received telephone calls
from Spitz Channell and his other co-workers outlining what they
would have liked Col. North to say during meetings with their
contributors. And --
Yes, go on.
Some of the conversations were about money for
airstrips and helicopters, etcetera.
You took such messages from them, and conveyed
them to Col. North?
Not all of them. I took messages and we were
working at such a fast pace. Normally, Col. North was under a lot
of pressure and a lot of the messages did not get relayed.
Did you ever become aware of whether Col. North
himself was engaged in soliciting persons for financial aid to the
I didn't sit in on a meeting so I don't know if Col.
North solicited these contributors or not.
Did you ever become aware from any other source,
recognizing that you didn't sit in on the meetings, that Col. North was
soliciting contributors to aid the Nicaraguan resistance?
I would have to answer that question, no, sir,
because I don't know that to be a fact.
All right. Did you come to know a Jonathan
Miller during your work for Col. North?
Yes, I did.
And, who was he.
When I first met him, he was an assistant to
Ambassador Reich, who is head of the public diplomacy section for
Latin America at the Department of State, and Jonathan came to work
with our office very closely during our efforts to win the vote for
aid to the contras.
Was he a frequent visitor to Col. North's office?
And you recognized he was working with Col. North on
Central American Nicaraguan affairs?
You mentioned legislation. Did you know if he was
working on any other matters with or for Col. North relating to
I know that he knew Rich Miller. I believe he knew
Spitz Channell, and he worked with them in their efforts also.
Did you come to know a gentleman named William
Haskell while you worked for Colonel North?
Yes, I did.
And who was he?
I think that Colonel North knew him as a friend, but
I knew that he worked at H&R Block.
Would you describe what he looked like?
A rather thin man, blonde hair, glasses.
Did he have one eye?
I believe so, yes.
And did you come to know him by another name as
I never confirmed it, but I -- my own instincts told
me that he was the gentleman that I had heard referred to as
And did you ever learn precisely which activities
Mr. Haskell/Olmstead was working on with Colonel North?
We mentioned before Shirley Napier, Lt.
Colonel -- General Secord's administrative assistant, and you've
testified to having delivered tapes to Miss Napier from time to time
for the KL-43 machine. Now, do you recall that, apart from those
occasions when you delivered tapes to Miss Napier, that she made
deliveries of various packages to you at the Old Executive Office
I know that she delivered packages, yes.
Do you recall on how many occasions that
I don't recall.
Do you know what those packages were?
No, I don't.
Well, Miss Napier has testified to the committees
on deposition, that she made between six and twelve deliveries to
you during 1986 -- that on those occasions, except for one in
particular that we'll discuss, she delivered plain envelopes that
contained what to her felt like a papery substance -- she didn't
know what was inside. Now, having described to you that testimony,
does it refresh your recollection at all about specific deliveries
that Miss Napier made to you at the OEOB?
I'm sorry, it doesn't, sir.
You do recall, though, generally that she made
All right. Now, Miss Napier testified that,
specifically, on August 26, 1986, she delivered $16,000 dollars in
cash to you at the Old Executive Office Building contained in a
Federal Express envelope. Do you recall an event such as that?
No, I don't, sir.
Miss Napier testified further that when she
delivered this package to you -- and she said it was enclosed at the
time -- that when she delivered this package to you, you spoke to
her and asked her, and I'll give you her testimony, whether you had
gone to Miami to get the package,
or words to that effect. Now, in fact, Ms. Napier testified that she
had picked up the $16,000 in cash to be transmitted to Col. North
from an employee of Southern Air Transport in Miami. And, again, she
testified that she brought it back, gave it to you enclosed in a
Federal Express envelope at the OEOB downstairs; and that, as she
handed it to you, you said to her in words or substance, "Did you go
to Miami and get this, or did you go down there today?"
Now do you recall any conversation like that with Ms. Napier?
Sir, I don't recall the situation, but I don't deny
it. There are a lot of things that I don't remember, and I think I
would have remembered opening a package that contained $16,000.
You don't recall questioning Ms. Napier on whether
she had gone to Florida to pick something up for Col. North?
I don't remember that specifically, but I don't deny
And Col. North never told you to expect an
important delivery from Ms. Napier, or a delivery of cash from her?
I don't recall, sir. I can only offer an
understanding that maybe he -- I expressed to him that Shirley was
coming over with the package, and he says, "Is it the one from
Miami," and then I took those remarks he made and also repeated them
to her. That's the only explanation I can give. I just don't recall
the situation .
You don't have a recollection. But, as you said,
you're not denying Ms. Napier's testimony.
I understand -- you've told me that there were
lots of deliveries to Col. North's office during the years that you
Yes, a lot -- I mean, from all the different
departments of the government.
Ms. Hall, did there come a time when you became
aware of Col. North's work on the Iran initiative?
When do you recall first learning of that program?
I believe it started with a visit by David Kimche.
Which would be the summer of 1985?
Did Col. North ever explain the program to you?
But over the course of time, you came to
understand that, among other things, it involved the transfer of U.S.
weapons to Iran, right?
That it also involved, as one of the objectives, the
release of American hostages that were then being held in Lebanon?
Now, were you ever told by Col. North that the
program also involved using proceeds from the Iran arms sales for the
benefit of the contras?
I don't recall that, sir, no.
Do you ever recall Col. North joking with you, or
joking within the office to the effect that he was stinging the
Ayatollah in the Iran arms program, or that it was ironic that the
Ayatollah was paying to support the contras' cause?
It's a little unclear to me because I vaguely -- I
have a recollection of something like that, but I'm -- I'm not quite
clear if it happened during the office, or something that's I've thought
of since this story has broken. I'm not clear on that. It sounds
familiar, but I'm not clear. I couldn't ---
You don't have a specific recollection?
No, I don't.
All right. Would you turn in your exhibit book,
please, Ms. Hall, to the exhibit marked FH-8? This is a memo which
is dated "release of American hostages in Beirut." And, as the
members of the Committee know, it was this memo which was discovered
by one of the Attorney General's representatives on November 22,
1986, which led to the announcement of the so-called diversion at the
Attorney General's press conference on November 25. I've shown you
this memo before. Do you recall, Ms. Hall?
And did you type it?
Yes, I did, sir.
Now in the upper righthand corner of this memo,
which is otherwise undated, there is a handwritten notation, "April." Do you
see that on the Exhibit?
Yes, I do, sir.
Do you recognize that handwriting?
It's that of Colonel North.
Colonel North. Now, do you recall who prepared
this document originally, that is, who gave you the memo to take?
I believe Colonel North dictated it to me.
You recall North dictating it to you and you
typing it from his dictation?
Did the memo go through more than one draft?
My recollection is that it did, sir.
Is it your recollection also that one of the
drafts was sent out of the office to Admiral Poindexter?
I believe that Admiral Poindexter made some changes
to it, yes.
All right. And you typed those changes and
prepared an additional draft?
Do you recall whether this memorandum was ever
prepared and sent out in a final form?
I don't recall, sir.
Do you know if anyone else saw this memorandum,
in draft or final, other than you, of course, Colonel North, and
I don't recall. I don't know.
You don't know. If you look at Exhibit 9, the
next exhibit, also -- excuse me, Exhibit 8-A -- Exhibit 8-A, which
we have also reviewed before during your interviews, you recognize
that as another copy of the same memorandum without the handwritten
And the other change we have identified is that
in the second full paragraph, where it reads, "On September 13,"
"September 13" is typed in; whereas on the prior version that we
just looked at, Exhibit 8, "13" is written in by hand and "14" is
You prepared -- that is, typed -- both versions?
And I take it that looking at this other version
does not affect your recollection as to whether a final was prepared
and sent out?
No, it doesn't. I just have to assume that the memo
-- that it was typed for a reason and that it went somewhere. I
don't know where it went.
Now this memorandum, whether in form as Exhibit 8
or 8-A, is in a form that's different than the usual memoranda you
prepared for Colonel North at the NSC, am I right?
And I'd like, just so that the -- so we can be
clear, to review with you what the general form and filing
procedures were for intelligence-related documents that you prepared
at the NSC. Now typically, from the documents we have seen, there
was a cover sheet that was affixed to the memorandum, correct?
And that cover sheet would contain the
classification of the document -- top secret, secret, code word --
There would also be a routing slip that would
tell who the different people were who were to receive copies of the
And then we have seen, when the -- on the memos
themselves, in the upper right corner -- and we'll be seeing
documents like that later in this examination -- something that
would say "System IV", right?
And under that, typically, a number.
Now would you describe -- well, let me -- let's
do it this way. The NSC record-keeping system involved three
different systems, right?
System I, System II, and System IV.
There was no System III.
Now what were System I documents?
System I documents were routine, not sensitive
Typically addressed "administrative matters"?
What were System II documents?
System II were documents that were classified, a
little more sensitive, and they included national security decision
directives, meetings with presidential minutes, et cetera.
Minutes of National Security Council meetings and
NSPG meetings, those would be System II?
Now again, there was no System III. And then we
get to System IV, which is the system document that you would
ordinarily be dealing with at Colonel North's office, right?
Well, we dealt with all three systems.
Okay. What was a System IV document?
A System IV document meant that the document
involved a lot of sensitivity and intelligence matters.
Those were the most sensitive documents that you
dealt with at Colonel North's office, correct?
Where were original System IV documents filed?
After the action had been completed on the document,
the original document was returned to the security officer handled
System IV and filed in his files.
Where was his office in relation to Suite 302?
In relation to Suite 302, it was right next door.
Now, who was the System IV security officer at
the NSC during your tenure, until November of 1986?
Jim Radzinski and then Brian Merchant.
Jim Radzinski until November 1986, and then Brian
Merchant took over in that month of November, right?
Mr. Radzinski and then Mr. Merchant reported to
Kenneth de Graffenreid?
And you knew him to be the head of the NSC's
And his assistant was named June Bartlett?
Now, System IV documents contained assigned
How did you get those numbers when you prepared
System IV memoranda for Colonel North?
I would place a phone call to the Intelligence
Directorate and I would ask for a System IV number, and they would
rattle off a number and I would type that on the document.
Again, you'd be requesting it from Radzinski's
If you decided not to do the document, or Colonel
North decided not to do the document, what became of the number?
I would place a phone call back to the same
directorate, Jim Radzinski and tell him that we no longer needed the
And the number was returned to the Security
You don't know if it was used on another document
or not, at that point?
No, I don't.
Once you finished a System IV document, how was
it typically sent out to the addressee, who in the cases we deal
with, is typically the National Security Advisor?
The package was in the pile, and I xeroxed a copy
for my chron. and my subject file and any other person that was -
had a need to know for the package. I would take the original and
either hand deliver it across the street to the West Wing where the
National Security Advisor's office was, or I would have Jim
Radzinski do it if I was being rushed, if I was in a hurry. Or
perhaps I would envelope it and seal it and indicate that it was
classified and sensitive, indicate that it was System IV document,
and put it in an NSC mailbox.
So one copy at least went to the System
Security Officer at the Intelligence Directorate?
Yes, a copy went there.
And then the original to the addressee?
If it were not a crisis-type document, or a
hurry-up delivery, was the document supposed to be routed through
the Executive Secretariat to the NSC -- National Security Advisor?
But as you've testified, at times if there was a
rush, some urgency attached to it, either you or someone else would
hand-carry it directly to the West Wing to the National Security
We've seen System IV memos prepared in Lt.
Colonel North's office that from time to time contain the legend
"Re-Do", redo on it. You're familiar with that legend?
What did it mean?
It meant that a package had gone across the street
and someone along the line, either Executive Secretary or the
Deputy, or the National Security Advisor himself, had requested
changes and it came back to our office and we incorporated those
changes and indicated that the original was left as is with the
changes, and a new package was done and to indicate that it was
changed, we would type in "re-do".
"Re-do" would be put on the revised document, but
the original document would be maintained in the file and not
Yes, I think that's the normal practice, yes.
Another legend that we've seen on some of the
System IV memos is one which reads, "Add-on", add on. You're
familiar with that legend?
What did it mean?
It meant that a package had gone across the street
and there was -- it either had gone on to the agencies asking them
to do something, they had responded -- Anyway, the idea is that
there was new material to be added to an original package.
And when that material was added, you'd type
"Add-on" to the front page?
But you'd again preserve the original document,
it wouldn't be destroyed?
So if there had originally been just a memo
say, from a staff member to the Advisor, and then added to it was a
proposed memo from the Advisor to the President, you'd type "Add On" on the front page?
All right. Another legend we've seen is one that
reads, "non-hyphen-log," "non-log." Is that a legend you're
And what did it mean?
We used that in cases where it was so
administrative, it didn't even warrant being in System I; or it was
so sensitive that we didn't want to put it in System IV.
So, this was a document that was being prepared
and sent outside the system?
It was being sent to the National Security Advisor.
It was not put into the system, series of systems.
It was outside the system?
Was a copy of a non-log document sent to the
system security officer at the NSC?
Now looking again, after that description, at
Exhibit 8 or Exhibit 8A, the so-called "diversion memo," do you
recall ever preparing a document before, aside from this document --
before or after -- which didn't contain a "to" or a "from"?
I believe we've done attachments to documents
without a "to" or "from." We've done issue-type papers before, yes.
But those were attachments to memos that were to
somebody, from somebody.
And, typically, you also dated the memos you
prepared as well, correct?
And this memo, as we have it, doesn't have a date
on it. Right?
Can you account for the fact that it's undated?
It could have been that it went through so many
reiterations that it -- was cumbersome to put a date on, or that for
some reason, maybe Col. North told me not to, or I just forgot.
Do you have a recollection of why there's no date
No, I don't, sir.
Do you have a recollection of why there's no
system number on it?
No, I don't.
Do you know or recall whether Col. North told you
that this document was to be handled as "non-log," or outside the
I believe he probably indicated that. I don't have
a specific recollection.
Do you know why this document doesn't have the
name of an addressee, or a writer on it?
No, I don't, sir.
Is it possible, Ms. Hall, that this document is
only part of a larger memo?
I have no idea, sir.
You don't recall?
I don't recall.
Now, you mentioned that you maintained subject
and chronological files of memoranda.
Did you maintain those in your office?
Where did you keep those files?
The chron files in suite 302 were placed in a cabinet that
stood between -- behind my desk and Barbara Brown's desk. The
subject files were spread out through the office, according to the
Do you recall whether you made copies of this
document, Exhibit 8, and/or 8A, and put copies in your subject and
I norm-- I would have -- I don't have a specific
recollection, though. But it would normally have been done, yes.
It normally would have been your practice to put
completed memos in those files?
A complete -- yes. And in the chron and the subject
Apart from this exhibit, Ms. Hall, do you have a
recollection of typing any other documents which referred to the use
of proceeds from the Iran arms sales on behalf of the contras?
No I don't, sir.
Do you recognize that this document, you've seen
it before, contains such a reference?
And you don't recall Col. North making any
particular mention of that when he dictated it to you, or
I don't have a specific recollection, no, sir.
Now you knew, of course, and have testified, that
Col. North was involved in helping the contra cause against the
You knew that Col. North met, not infrequently,
with contra leaders, Messrs. Cruz, Robelo, and Calero.
And you knew they communicated from time to time.
Did you know, at any time while you worked for
Col. North, that Col. North was in any way involved in paying, or
otherwise transferring funds to any of those of contra leaders or
I don't know that to be a fact. I do have a
recollection of one scene, a spiral notebook Col. North kept. I
believe I saw him writing in it once or twice, and saw it on his desk and it had
names and dollar amounts in it.
This was a ledger that you saw Col. North writing
in, in his office?
Just describe what it looked like, please.
The way I remember it, it was very similar to
something you might buy in a Hallmark card store. It was a
manila-colored spiral square-type calendar, and I believe, if my
recollection is right, that he flipped to the back of it, where they
allow you to write notes. And that's where the ledger was kept.
Where did you see that ledger?
I -- The last time I remember really seeing it, I believe, is in
Which would have been before May, 1986?
And you saw Colonel North writing in the ledger?
I believe so, sir.
And do you remember a page opened with names and
columns on it?
What -- do you recall any of the names?
I don't have a specific recollection. No, sir.
Do you have any recollection?
My feeling or my assumption is that, that it had to
do with Central America.
Can you recall any specific name that was on that
I don't recall -- I can't -- I don't have a picture
of the ledger in my mind, sir, but I would say that it probably had
Calero and Cruz, and others on it.
You saw numbers?
Did you understand these, based on what you saw,
to be dollar amounts?
Do you recall what the magnitude was, of any of
those dollar amounts?
No I don't, sir.
No recollection of that, whatsoever?
No, sir. I'd like to add that I did not open the
notebook at any time or question Colonel North on that notebook, I
merely was walking in the office and noticed that the notebook was
there. I did not take any hard looks at it.
Do you know where Colonel North kept that ledger
I don't recall, sir, not really. I think that he
might have kept it to the right of his old desk in 392 -- were some
In any event, he never asked you to make any
entries in it or file it?
And you never saw it again, after you moved from
the old office to suite 302?
I don't recall, sir. I don't recall seeing it after
Do you recall hearing rumors around your office,
that Colonel North kept cash in suite 302 or suite 392?
Were those fairly widespread stories?
I think they were within office.
And what do you recall hearing?
I don't have a specific recollection, I just have a
feeling of that. Just a moment, sir. As you know, sir, you have brought to my attention the fact
that I was given three travelers checks.
We'll get to that.
Okay well that's -- it's hard for me to explain to
you why I had this feeling, and that would help in this case.
We'll go to the travelers checks, in one second.
Let me just ask, whether you asked Colonel North, about any of the
stories you heard, concerning the possibility that he kept cash in
Do you know whether he was familiar with those
I would assume so, yes.
Did you ever hear him make a statement of anger
or denial, about such stories being passed around the office?
And did you have the impression that the stories
Now, as you referred to moments ago, I had asked
you at one point during our interviews, whether you had ever
received or borrowed cash from Colonel North. And, in one of our
earlier interviews, you had recalled an occasion when you thought
you had borrowed, some $20 from him. Correct?
Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
And then subsequently, the Committees came into
the possession of certain documents, including travelers checks
which I showed you, and copies of which now appear as exhibit Seven
in your binder. Do you recall that?
Now having looked at those travelers checks
during our interviews -- and you see them again now -- it's FH-7.
Until I showed you the travelers checks, you did not recall this
event. Is that correct, Miss Hall?
Having seen the travelers checks -- copies of
which are on exhibit Seven -- you recognized your signature in both
place on the three checks.
Three checks totaling $60, each for $20.
They're dated June 21, June 22, and June 23
of 1985. And looking at the calendar, we established that June -- that that was
a weekend, beginning with Friday, June 21.
All right. Now, with those facts, what do you recall about
these checks and your obtaining them from Colonel North?
I recall that June 21st was a Friday, and we were
working late and I was planning a weekend to the beach, but yet, the
banks had closed, and I didn't have any cash to go to the beach
with. And, I recall that, I asked Colonel North to borrow some
money. At the time, I thought it was $20. It appears now that I
had asked for $60. And Colonel North obviously handed me $60 in
Do you recall where Col. North physically took the
No, I don't, sir.
Well, did he get them from his desk, from his
pocket, from one of the safes?
I don't recall, sir. I don't believe I was present
in the room when he gave them to me. I think I would have
Where do you think he was, and where were you when
he went to get the checks?
I would have to say that I was probably outside at my
desk, and had asked him earlier for them -- and maybe gone back in, and he
already had them out. I just don't recall where he got them from.
You have no recollection of whether they were on
his desk, or whether he took out a wad out of traveler's checks or
went to a safe?
Now, when he handed you the checks, did he say
My recollection is that he said, "Make sure you
return, you know, pay back the money -- it's not mine."
Referring to the traveler's checks?
You cashed them that weekend, as indicated, at a
gas station, a market and a beach package store?
And you subsequently repaid Col. North?
Was there ever any other occasion when you saw
Col. North with traveler's checks, or -- saw Col. North with
I don't recall, sir. No, I don't believe I've ever
seen him with traveler's checks.
Any other occasion on which you borrowed money
from Col. North?
When Col. North gave you the checks, or during the
ensuing weekend, did you happen to notice that they were drawn on a
bank in Central America?
At the time, yes, sir.
Did you find that curious?
I thought it unusual.
And did you ask Col. North how he happened to have
traveler's checks that were drawn on a Central American bank?
No, I didn't, sir. It was my policy not to ask
questions. It was just something ---
Did you ask Col. North where he got the traveler's
And he didn't volunteer any of that information?
Okay. Now could you recall another incident, some time
after June of 1986, which also adds to your impression that Colonel North was dealing,
to some extent, with cash?
I'm sorry, sir. Could you repeat ---
Well, let me take it this way. Do you recall a
gentleman called Father Dowling -- Father Tom Dowling?
Who did you understand Fr. Dowling to be?
I understood him to be a priest, and I think that he
dealt with Col. North regarding Central America.
You thought that Fr. Dowling was a priest based on
his clerical garb that he wore?
Did Col. North ever tell you that he was priest?
No, but I have seen the father in his clerical garb
And you knew him as somebody who had an interest
in Central America?
He was a frequent caller at the office?
I would say so, yes.
Do you recall that Col. North arranged a photo
opportunity for Fr. Dowling and another priest in June of 1986 -- a
photo opportunity with the President?
Now the other priest, Mr. Chairman, with the
Committee's permission, we'll refer to you as Father Z, because the
name is protected and we've been asked to use that formulation.
Fr. Z is someone you associated with Fr. Dowling as well,
And he was a Nicaraguan priest?
And he, too, joined Fr. Dowling at the photo
opportunity that Col. North set up in June of 1986 with the
Some time following that event, when you saw Fr.
Dowling, Fr. Z and Col. North, do you recall receiving a telephone
call from Fr. Dowling who was upset about a matter?
Yes, sir. He had called a couple of times, I
believe, and expressed that Mr. Z had not received some -- what he
was waiting for. And I think the last time I remember Fr. Dowling
calling, he was very desperate and Col. North happened to be leaving
the office at the time. And I expressed to him Fr. Dowling's
desperation, and he said, "Get Rich Miller on the phone and make sure
that he takes of that." And Col. North left. I placed a call to
Rich Miller, and expressed the fact that Fr. Dowling had called, and
that Fr. Z had not received what he was expecting.
Did you associate that request and that event with
the transfer of funds?
That was my association.
Based on something that was said to you on the
phone by Fr. Dowling?
All right. So, from those events, that call, the
traveler's checks and the ledger, you formed the impression that Col.
North was dealing, to some extent, with money, and it related to the
I'd like to turn now to the Iran matter and the
events of November. But before we do, I want to clear up one other
point that's been raised before the Committees. Do you remember a
time, in or about early June of 1986, when you were asked by Col.
North to type an account number on a card?
Do you recall that Assistant Secretary Elliott
Abrams was present at that time?
I have recalled -- I thought that it was someone
else, but I now realize that it was Secretary Abrams, yes.
Your best recollection now is that Sec. Abrams was
This was in your office at Suite 302?
And, would you describe please for the committees,
I was sitting at my desk. Col. North passed me a
piece of paper with an account number on it, and asked me to type it.
I pulled out a 3x5 index card, typed what I saw, returned the slip of
paper that he had given me and the card.
To Col. North?
And, as far as you know, you typed on the card
precisely the account number which Col. North gave you on the slip of
And you understand from subsequent events that
that is the account number which has come into controversy in
connection with the contribution from Brunei?
When you handed the paper, and after you handed
the paper and the card with the number to Col. North, typed as you
saw the number on the slip, that was the last time you saw or heard
Now, turning to the events, Miss Hall, of November
1986, you recall that early in the month of November, the foreign
press broke the story about the Iran initiative?
And shortly thereafter, you were aware that the
NSC staff was working on preparing a chronology of events relevant to
the Iran initiative?
What did you learn about the preparation of that
chronology at the time?
Col. North was preparing it, I assume at the
direction of the national security adviser and I don't know who else,
to set the record straight.
Did you hear any discussions of events to be put
in or left out of that chronology?
I don't recall now.
Do you recall participating to the extent of
helping type the various drafts of the chronology?
And, you recall also an occasion when Mr.
McFarlane came into your office during the preparation of the
And typed an insert using the PROF's machine in
Col. North's inside office?
Okay. Did anyone tell you specifically what the purpose
of these Iran chronologies was?
I don't recall, sir.
Now, you recall that November 21st was a Friday in
Would you turn to Exhibit FH-9? The second page
of the exhibit has Col. North's calendar entries for that day. You
see two references on that day, Friday, November 21, to Michael
Do you recall whether Mr. Ledeen was in the office
on that day?
My recollection is that -- well, the -- the
appointment that shows eleven o'clock, I believe with Mr. McFarlane,
Mr. Ledeen, was not held in our office. I did not know at the time
where the meeting was held. The later meeting at 2:30, I believe
that Michael probably came to the office. I -- that's my
Do you recall what Mr. Ledeen did in the office on
I have no idea, sir.
Do you know what was discussed at the earlier
meeting outside of the office among Messrs. McFarlane, Ledeen, and
I have no idea, sir.
Now, there's also an entry on the calendar for
November 21 at 5:30, Tom Green.
Do you recall whether Mr. Green was in the office
on that day at or about that time?
I don't believe he was, sir. I think he picked up
Col. North outside the office.
Did you know who Tom Green was as of November 21,
I knew that Tom Green was a lawyer.
And, had you had occasion to place calls to him
and take calls from him while you were working for Col. North?
And, did such calls occur both before and after
May of 1986?
Did you know what Col. North's business was with
Mr. Green on any of those occasions?
No, I didn't, Sir.
Did you know whether Mr. Green was representing
Col. North at any time up to November 21, 1986?
No, I didn't.
You knew he was a lawyer? Tom Green?
Did you know who he was a lawyer for?
Now, sometime during the afternoon on Friday
November 21, 1986, did Col. North hand you several documents and ask
you to make changes?
Would you describe generally what he handed to you
and what he asked you to do?
I was sitting at my desk and he came outside of his
office and handed me three or four original System IV packages with
changes indicated on them -- I believe in red or blue ink. I am not
sure -- and asked me to make the changes, and I did so.
These were handwritten changes?
And they were handwritten changes on original
System IV documents?
So far as you knew, where had those original
System IV documents been up until that point?
I have no idea, sir.
Did you recognize them as completed documents?
So that ordinarily those documents would have
been in the original files maintained by the System IV security
officer right next door to your office, correct?
Who by that time, in November, was Brian
Did you recognize the handwriting on the original
System IV documents that Colonel North gave you?
Whose handwriting was it?
Up until that time, Miss Hall, had you ever been
asked by Colonel North or anyone else to make changes to original
completed System IV documents?
I don't believe so, sir.
Did you make the changes that Colonel North
And did you destroy the marked-up originals that
Colonel North gave you with the changes written in?
Yes, I did.
Okay. Did Colonel North ask you to destroy those
I don't know if he -- he told me to destroy them, or
if I just destroyed them on my own initiative.
You understood from the circumstances exactly
what you were expected to do?
Now there were various action lines on these
memos, which we'll review, for "approve" or "disapprove"
And once you revised or altered the documents and
came up with altered originals, did you go back and check those
boxes as indicated?
Yes. I asked Colonel North what he wanted me to do,
and he said just go ahead and check them. And I checked them as I
thought that they reflected the other originals.
And Colonel North made it a practice usually of
putting his initial "N" on the front of documents, correct?
And did you put his "N" on each of the altered
originals which you prepared?
Now, you'll recall that when we spoke, in the
absence of the documents, you could not remember the specific
documents or the specific changes that you made.
That's right, sir.
Did you pay attention to any of those changes
when Colonel North handed you the documents and said, "Here, make
No, I didn't.
Did you ask Colonel North why he wanted you to
make those changes?
No, I didn't.
Did you read the changes that he made?
No, I didn't.
Did you appreciate the significance of the
changes that Colonel North was asking you to make to those original
System IV documents?
No, I didn't.
Weren't you curious?
I -- it was a policy of mine not to ask questions,
and just to follow instructions. I believed in Colonel North and
what he was doing. I had no right to question him.
And so you took the original documents and made
the changes that Colonel North told you to make.
Yes, I did.
And again, absent anything else, you could not
recall what those documents were by substance, or what the changes
were that Colonel North asked you to make?
But you did recall one or so of the System IV
numbers that were on the documents, correct?
I believe I recalled a System IV number, yes.
And we then subsequently found a handwritten
note, which we showed you, containing System IV numbers. Do you
Would you look at FH Exhibit 1?
Now FH-Exhibit 1, Miss Hall, is a note which was
produced to us by the White House, and it contains various System IV
That is the note we showed you that helped
refresh your recollection and, indeed, lead us to copies of the
altered documents. Correct?
Do you recognize whose handwriting that note is
Do you recall when you first saw this handwritten
note by Mr. McFarlane, FH-Exhibit 1?
I believe it was in the summer of 1985.
And where did you see it?
On -- it was taped to the ledge of Colonel North's
desk in his Suite 392.
Taped to the ledge near his computer terminal?
And do you associate first seeing FH-1 with the
time that congressional inquiries were underway into Colonel North's
activities on behalf of the contras?
You were familiar at the time that Congressman
Hamilton and Congressman Barnes had made such inquiries?
Do you recall that documents were being pulled
from System IV files around that time as part of the response to the
I don't recall, sir, no.
But you do associate this list of numbers by Mr.
McFarlane with those inquiries?
The sheet of handwritten numbers remained taped
to Colonel North's desk until the time you moved in May 1986?
By the way, was the circle around the number
401214 at the time you first saw the note?
I don't believe so, sir.
Was the word "cover" on the note?
And the inscription on the right below 19 either
Jan. or June, "Yediot Aharonot" -- do you recall seeing that when
it was typed to the desk?
Do you know what that note refers to?
No, I don't, sir.
Do you recognize it as the name of an Israeli
No, I don't.
So you saw the list just with the numbers and the
Now, would you take a look at Fawn Hall Exhibit
1A? This is another version of the same note with some text at the
bottom which I'll read into the record. "All originals attached
except 401214. According to computer, all copies of 401214 were
destroyed. Please return these documents to me when you have
finished. Brian." Do you recognize that handwriting?
I don't recognize the handwriting, sir, but the
name I associate with Brian Merchant, the System IV keeper.
Okay. There is another handwritten note at the
bottom which reads, "Signed out to Ollie North. JB." Do you
recognize that handwriting?
Again, I do not recognize the handwriting. JB I
associate with June Bartlett, Ken de Graffenreid's secretary.
And based on this note, it appears that the
documents were, at least, first requested, if not signed out, on
November 21, 1986, which is the date that you were handed original
System IV documents to alter. Correct?
You did not see this note at the bottom prior to
Now, Miss Hall, there was another way that you
were able to help us identify the altered and the unaltered
documents, and I'd like you to please turn to FH Exhibit 2. That
Exhibit is on a letterhead which reads "National Security Council"
in the center, and over on the left it reads "Memorandum." Correct?
That form of letterhead was in use during 1985.
Was that form of letterhead discontinued by 1986?
Now, would you take a look at Fawn Hall Exhibit
2A, and you'll see that that is on a letterhead which
doesn't have the word "Memorandum." Correct?
And in the center it not only reads "National
Security Council," but it also contains Washington, D.C. and the zip
That form of paper was in use at the NSC in 1985,
was it not?
Yes, it was.
But never for memos from the staff to the
National Security Advisor. Correct?
I don't believe it was supposed to be used for that
So that in 1985, you would not have prepared a
memo such as Exhibit 2A on that National Security Council
You would have prepared it on the form of
letterhead that we saw on Exhibit 2.
But by 1986, November 1986, when you were asked
to make altered versions of certain documents, that memorandum
letterhead had been discontinued. Correct?
So that all you had was the letterhead we see on
Exhibit 2A, National Security Council, Washington, D.C.
Which indicates to you that that document wasn't
prepared in 1985.
Now I'd like to go through the documents.
Let's begin, if we may, Miss Hall, with Exhibit FH-2 which is a memorandum for Mr. McFarlane
from Lt. Col. North dated February 6, 1985, and the subject is
"Nicaraguan Arms Shipments." Do you have that document before you?
Yes, I do.
We also have a blow-up of the document on the
wall to the right. You notice the System IV number is 402003,
And that is one of the numbers which appears on
the handwritten list, FH-Exhibit 1.
Now this document was prepared originally on or
about February 6, 1985, as the date indicates. And you have no
independent recollection, as we've established, of what the document
contained then and what changes were made in the document on
November 21, 1986.
Let's then review the document for the committee,
and let me explain the coloring on the documents as they have been
put up. On the original document, material that's deleted is
highlighted in blue ink. On what we believe to be the altered
version of the document, material that was put in that did not
appear on the original document is highlighted in orange. Now
going through Exhibit 2, Exhibit 2 in its original form, where the
blue highlighting occurs, was a memorandum from Lt. Col. North to
Mr. McFarlane in which he advised that a Nicaraguan merchant ship
was unloading cargo in Asia, and in the blacked out portion was
taking on lethal cargo, weapons, for the contras at a certain other
spot in the East.
Col. North then goes on, as you see at the bottom of page one
of Exhibit 2, to present three options to Mr. McFarlane for dealing
with that vessel. He says that the shipment of weapons could be
seized and the weapons could be delivered to the Nicaraguan
resistance, or he says the ship could be sunk, or he says publicity
could be given to the shipment and the parties involved in order to
prevent the delivery that way.
If we then turn to the second page of Exhibit 2, Col. North
provides Mr. McFarlane additional details concerning the possibility
of having Mr. Calero and his people assist in some way with
preventing the delivery of those weapons to Nicaragua. And the
memorandum concludes with a recommendation that Mr. McFarlane
authorize Mr. Calero to be provided with information on this ship
and to be approached on the matter of seizing or sinking it.
Beneath that, there is a handwritten notation. And Ms. Hall, do you
recognize that as Admiral Poindexter's writing?
Yes, I do.
The notation in Admiral Poindexter's writing
reads, "We need to take action to make sure the ship does not arrive
in Nicaragua." Now Ms. Hall, before we go to the other version of
Exhibit 2, once you made the changes and you destroyed the marked up
originals, what were you going to do with the altered originals?
The altered originals I planned to xerox and replace
the chron copy and the subject file copy and then return the
original altered document to the System IV keeper.
All right. At that time,
you recognized that you had your own copies in your subject and
chron. files in the office of the same documents that Colonel North
was asking you to change, right?
So to complete the alteration process, and to
make it effective, you knew you had to substitute the new altered
original for the copies that were in your files and get rid of those
And to complete the process finally, you
understood that you had to then get the altered original back to Mr.
Merchant's shop to be refiled, right?
Did you ever get past the step of destroying the
original originals that Colonel North had marked up?
I destroyed the originals, made the changes,
assembled the packages, began to xerox them, and I was stopped in
the process by what I now think is probably the shredding incident.
Which we'll get to. In any event, you were
interrupted while you were making copies or endeavoring to make
copies of the documents, the altered originals, correct?
So you never had the opportunity to get out of
your files the copies of the unaltered documents?
Or to get the altered originals back to the
Which accounts for why two copies of each
document were found ultimately in the files?
Now, having gone through Exhibit 2, we'll take a
look at FH Exhibit 2-A. And you'll notice that bears the same
System IV number as Exhibit 2, correct? 402003, right?
But now that 2-page memo concerning the ship
Monimbo and its proposed weapons delivery to Nicaragua, has been
shrunk to a one-page memo, correct?
And that memo deletes all discussion of the three
options that Colonel North had put to McFarlane, "sink, seize, or
And what is inserted in place in any of those
options or any discussion of the contras helping with an operation
to seize the ship, is a recommendation in effect to declassify the
information that Colonel North had about the ship so it could be
printed in the overseas news media?
And we believe this to be one of the documents
that you were asked to prepare on November 21, correct, Miss Hall?
Again, it is on letterhead that you would not
have been using for such a memo in 1985?
And that appears to be your "N" next to Oliver
Now, I noticed that the "approve" box in Exhibit
2-A is checked. There is no check on the "approve" line in Exhibit
2, the original of the memo. Do you have any recollection of
whether you were asked specifically to check the "approve" box on
I believe that I -- I mean I don't have a specific
recollection. I believe that I probably saw Admiral Poindexter's
handwriting and realized I couldn't exactly re-do that, and decided
just to check the "approve" line, which is similar to his comment.
And again, if you had been able to finish the
process, what the files would have been left with is what we see as
Exhibit 2-A. There would have been no Exhibit 2, including no
handwritten notation by Admiral Poindexter?
Let's turn then, if we may, to the next document
which is FH Exhibit 3. That document bears the System IV number 4-double-0-2-1-5. And again, Ms. Hall, that is
one of the numbers on the McFarlane handwritten list in Exhibit 1,
is it not?
Yes, it is. Yes, it is.
This was a document prepared, originally, on or
about March 5, 1985. It is a memo from Col. North to Mr. McFarlane.
And it pertains to aid to the Nicaraguan resistance from a certain
Central American country, the name of which has been deleted from
the unclassified version of this memo.
Now, in this memo, as we see from reading it, Col. North
proposes to Mr. McFarlane that Mr. McFarlane send a memorandum to
the Secretary of State, to the Secretary of Defense, to the Director
of Central Intelligence, and to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, asking for their views on increased US assistance to this
Central American country, and proposing that such increased
assistance be given.
Col. North then goes on, in Exhibit 3, to say to Mr. McFarlane
that the real purpose of the proposed memo to the cabinet officers
would be to find a way to compensate the Central American country
for the extraordinary assistance that that country had been
furnishing to the Nicaraguan freedom fighters by facilitating the
delivery of lethal assistance, weapons, through the provision of
false end-user certificates. And Col. North goes on to point out to
Mr. McFarlane, on page 2 of Exhibit 3, that the proposed memo to the
senior cabinet officials does not refer to any of those arrangements
which had been made by the Central American country to help the
The recommendation is that Mr. McFarlane sign the proposed memo
to the senior cabinet officers, and send it along -- a memo which
contained, as Col. North put it, "no reference to the real purpose
of the recommendation." Then, as you'll see, there were various
attachments, the first being the proposed memo to the secretaries,
the DCI, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs; the second being
copies of the false end-user certificates; and the third being a
wish list of military equipment requirements for the contras, which
Col. North also refers to in his memo to Mr. McFarlane.
And again, as far as you know, Ms. Hall, you would have
prepared this document; that is, typed it for Col. North back in
March of 1985?
Now, let's look, then, at Exhibit FH3A. It bears
the same System IV number as Exhibit 3, does it not? 400215?
Only, it's on the letterhead that you wouldn't
have used in 1985. Correct?
And that looks like your "N" next to Oliver
The subject is the same subject as Exhibit 3 in
its 1985 manifestation, namely aid to the Nicaraguan resistance by
the same, unidentified here, Central American country. Only now,
that 2-page memo has been reduced to two paragraphs, the first of
which tells Mr. McFarlane that there is a proposed memo to the
senior cabinet members, asking for their views on assistance --
increased assistance to the Central American country, and the second
of which simply says that "Your memo, Mr. McFarlane, also urges that
we provide the assistance." And the approve box is checked. And
again, you recall that it would have been you who checked the
approve box on Exhibit 3A.
Now, I notice that Exhibit 3A, although it no
longer refers in text to the "real purpose of the attached memo," or
to the end-user certificates, continues to attach, or to indicate an
attachment of end-user certificates, and the wish-list of weapons
for the contras, all reference to which had been deleted from the
memo itself. Correct?
We've talked about that. Could you account for
why the end-user certificates and the military equipment wish list
were left in, when the references to them were the object of Col.
All I can say is that -- emphasize the fact that I
didn't read the changes that were being made, or else I would have
realized to remove the attachments. And it also emphasizes the fact
that Col. North, to my recollection, did not give me any further
instructions, other than to change them.
You were uneasy while you were making these
changes, weren't you?
I felt a little bit of uneasiness when he asked me
to do it. But again, as I've stated, I believe in Col. North, and I
know that there must have been a good reason why he was asking me to
do this -- asking me to do this. And I -- I did as I was told.
Did you know, at the time that Col. North asked
you to do this, that the President of the United States had asked
the Attorney General to make an inquiry into the facts concerning
the delivery and sale of American weapons to Iran?
I did not recall that, no.
Did Col. North mention to you that he knew the
Attorney General had been asked to undertake that assignment,
and would be coming to the office to review documents or that his
representatives would be coming, the very next morning?
You did not know any of those things when you
made the changes that Colonel North requested. Right?
While you were making the changes, did anybody
come over to your desk?
Who was that?
Commander Craig Coy.
And what did you do, when Commander Coy
approached your desk, while you were altering the documents?
I turned the documents over, face down.
I felt that -- it was my policy not to expose or talk
about what I was doing, and I felt that -- I didn't know whether
Colonel North had shared with Commander Coy what he was doing.
I felt that it wasn't my place to show Commander Coy what I was
You weren't totally comfortable with what you
were doing, were you Miss Hall?
I would say that, I wasn't totally comfortable, yes.
But, as I said before, I believe that Colonel North had a good
reason for doing what he was doing. And I'm not going to question
He didn't tell you what that reason was?
No, he didn't.
Let's take a look now at exhibit FH-4. FH-4 is
a memorandum dated March 16, 1985, from Colonel North to Mr.
McFarlane. It contains the System IV number 400246, and that again
Miss Hall, is another one of the document numbers appearing on the
All right. This document was typed on or about
March 16, 1985, and its subject is the fall-back plan for the
Nicaraguan resistance. Now, the document as it appeared on March
16, 1985 -- or at least as we have it -- consisted of three pages.
The first page of which, was a cover memorandum from Colonel North,
in which he said that, a fall-back plan had been developed -- that
plan which is laid out on the second two pages -- a fall-back plan
to aid the Nicaraguan resistance, on the assumption that, the
Congress decided not to rescind the restrictions on contra aid that,
were then, in force. Colonel North goes on to tell Mr. McFarlane,
that secrecy for the plan, in his words, is "paramount," and that the other key to the plan is that the present donors
continue their relationship with the resistance beyond the current
funding figure. The recommendation that Colonel North makes to Mr.
McFarlane is that if Senators Durenberger and Lugar indicate that
there is an unwillingness on the part of Congress to support
resumption of full United States government aid to the Nicaraguan
resistance, then Mr. McFarlane ought to discuss this fall-back plan
with the Secretary of State.
Now, if you look at the second page of the exhibit -- exhibit
Four -- Colonel North begins laying out there, and continues on the
page after, precisely what he proposes as that fall-back option.
And very briefly, the Colonel tells Mr. McFarlane that, the funding
which is then being provided by the current donors, would be
sufficient to carry the resistance until October, provided that
additional monies were raised for non-military supplies.
Colonel North's proposal to raise that money, is that the
President of the United States, instead of returning to the Congress
for assistance as contemplated by the statute then in force, that
instead of doing that, the President make a sudden and dramatic
appeal, over nationwide television, to the citizens of the United
States, asking them to contribute to the Nicaraguan resistance.
Correct? And he proposes that there be established
a non-profit, tax-exempt organization for that purpose, and that the
contra leaders be informed and that the President's speech be
conceived and put together in total secrecy. Would you now take a
look at exhibit 4-A. Exhibit 4-A bears the same System IV
number as Exhibit 4, 400246. Only this one reduces what was a three-page
memorandum to a one-paragraph memorandum. And in that paragraph,
Col. North has deleted all reference to any fall-back plan, and says,
instead, that Congress seems reluctant to rescind the aid
restriction; and that there, therefore, is a need to develop a
fall-back plan for supporting the resistance. And he states that
"the best fallback we have is to stress that, while President Reagan
is unwilling to use U.S. troops in Nicaragua, all available
intelligence supports the realization that we will have to, in the
1990s, if there is not a democratic outcome now."
You've checked the "approved" box on that document, and this,
too, is one of the documents that we believe you prepared at Col.
North's request on November 21, correct?
All right. Let's turn then to Exhibit 5. Exhibit
5 bears the System IV number 402007, which you recognize as another
of the numbers on Mr. McFarlane's list, correct?
That document, as prepared on April 11, 1985,
contained a discussion of an FDN military operation which had been
made possible by funding that had been provided through the donors
after the cut-off of American aid by the Congress. On page 2, Col.
North concludes that the money on hand will be insufficient to enable
the resistance to grow to larger force than it has achieved, unless
efforts were made to seek additional funds of $15-$20 million from
the current donors.
By the way, Ms. Hall, did Col. North ever identify to you or
describe to you who he meant by "the present donors" or "the current
donors" in these memoranda?
No, he didn't.
In any event, Col. North recommends that those
donors be approached for more aid. And, on page 3 of the memo, that
recommendation is stated succinctly. He attaches to the memo a list
of expenditures and outlays by the resistance. Let's compare that
document, Exhibit 5, with Exhibit FH-5A. And, as we look at those
pages in general, information that seems to have been acquired
actively by Col. North has been deleted and, instead, there are
phrases such as "according to information they, the resistance, have
given us." There is a more passive tense used when describing the
type of knowledge that Col. North had. But the most dramatic change
on the document comes at the end. All references to the present
donors or funding by the present donors have been deleted from the
document; and, instead of making a recommendation that the current
donors be approached for increased aid, the recommendation is that
Congress be approached for increased aid. The specific
recommendation, then, at the very end of the memo on page 3 is "that
you brief the President on the current situation, and urge concerted
action on immediate Congressional approval of a $14 million CIA
supplemental and a $75-$100 million for the next fiscal year." And,
again, you've checked the "approved" box on page 3 of that memo?
Now, I won't ask that Exhibit 5-B be put up. But if
you'll turn to it in your book, you'll see that Exhibit 5-B is a memo
dated May 1, 1985, containing the System IV number 400453, which is
another number that was on the McFarlane list, correct?
And from comparing it, although it is dated May
1, 1985, it appears to be the same as the altered version of the
April document -- namely, Exhibit 4-A -- correct? Or 5-A, I'm
And do you have any recollection of why the
document was prepared with a date of May 1, as well as a date of
I think I've said there's a possibility that the
memorandum went across the street and was revised, or asked to be
redone, in May.
But you have no specific recollection?
No, I don't.
And I should advise you, Mr. Chairman and members
of the Committee, that we have not, at this point, located a May 1,
1985, unaltered document. The only document we have been able to
find so far is the one which appears as Exhibit FH-5B, which is the
same as the altered April document.
The circle around "401214," for the information of the
Committee, is explained by the note on FH-Exhibit 2. At the time
that these documents were requested -- that is, FH-Exhibit 1A -- at
the time the original System IV documents were requested back in
1986 from the security officer, he could not locate a 1985 document
that contained 401214 as the system number. He believed that those
documents had been destroyed, and he so advised on his note.
Subsequently, during the course of this investigation, Mr.
Chairman, a document bearing that number was located in the files of
the NSC, except it was a 1984 memorandum. When the documents had
been requested, the security officer did not look in the 1984 files.
That document is a December 4, 1984, memo from Colonel North to Mr.
McFarlane, which has been previously marked in this hearing as
Gaston Sigur Exhibit 1, and it is the memo in which Colonel North
recounts a meeting at the Cosmos Club with a military representative
of Country Number Four.
Now that accounts for all the documents, Miss Hall, that were
listed on McFarlane's handwritten note. During the course of our
work, however, we came upon another document, you'll recall that we
showed you, which appears also to have been altered. Is that
Would you look, then, at Exhibit 6? Exhibit 6 is a
document dated May 31, 1985, System 400564, which does not appear
on the McFarlane handwritten list, and it is entitled, "Rhe
Nicaraguan Resistance: Near-Term Outlook," from North to McFarlane.
The document contains, as its title suggests, a description by North
of how the Nicaraguan resistance is doing at that time, and what its
On the last page of the document, directly before the
recommendation, the sentence appears: "The only portion of current
activity which will be sustained as it has since last June, will be
the delivery of lethal supplies." Do you see that on the document?
Would you now turn to Exhibit 6-A? Bears the
same System IV security number, the same date, and you'll notice
that the first page is on the letterhead that was in use in 1985,
but not in 1986. Correct, Miss Hall?
We've compared it. The first two pages of
Exhibit 6-A are identical to the first two pages of Exhibit 6. The
changes come on the last page. And the striking change on the last
page is that the sentence which I read, which refers to lethal
assistance, has been deleted. Correct?
And there is also a sentence higher on the page
in the first full paragraph which has been changed. On the original
of the document, that sentence refers to a series of meetings with
Rivera and his representatives, and then subsequent meetings with
another contra leader named Steadman Fagoth. In 6-A, the reference
is simply to a series of meetings with Steadman Fagoth and nothing to do with the meeting Rivera. Correct?
Now, do you have any recollection, Miss Hall, of
when you revised this document?
I don't have an independent recollection, but I know
from our talks I think we've determined that it was probably done in
'85 when the letterhead was still in existence.
And, I've refreshed you with Mr. McFarlane's
testimony at this hearing, page 189, May 11th transcript, in which he
described reviewing various documents with Col. North in the late
fall or -- or late summer or early fall of 1985, in connection with
the congressional inquiries. Right?
And, he was describing talking to Col. North about
the documents being unclear, that Col. North's intent might be
misread, and Mr. McFarlane testified that he, Col. North, just said,
quote, "You are misreading my intent, and I can make it reflect what
I have said if this is ambiguous to you, and I" -- that's Mr.
McFarlane -- "said, 'All right. Do that.'" Continuing, "Within the
matter of a day or two, he" -- Col. North -- "returned to my office,
and he had two single pages. One of them was the same text, or close
to it, of the first page of the memorandum." As far as we've been
able to tell, Miss Hall, the first page of 6A is the same as the
first page of 6. Correct?
Mr. McFarlane continued, "But the other piece of
paper Mr. North returned with was the last page of the memorandum."
And, the last page of 6A is where we found the changes. Correct?
So, from hearing that testimony, your general
recollection, although you don't recall independently, is that this
document probably was changed around the fall of 1985, or sometime
But, not on November 21, 1986?
That completes the testimony on those documents.
Now, Miss Hall, on the same day as you were asked to make the
changes that we've reviewed in 1986, November 21, you said before
that your work on those documents probably was interrupted by the
And, you do recall that shredding of documents
occurred in Suite 302 on that day?
Tell us how it began, and when it began.
To the best of my recollection, it was early evening.
I don't have a clear recollection of how it started. I believe that
I probably -- Col. North probably opened the five-drawer safe and
began to pull items from it, and I joined him in an effort so that he
would not have to be wasting his time shredding, and as he pulled
documents from each drawer and placed them on top of the shredder, I
inserted into the shredder. At the same time, I asked him if I could
go ahead and shred the PROF notes and phone logs, and he acknowledged
that I should go ahead and do that, and I did so.
Approximately what time did this begin on November
My recollection is early evening. I don't -- five,
Who else was in the office at that time, apart
from you and Colonel North?
I remember Colonel Bob Earl being in the office.
And I believe Jock Scharfen who shared the suite with us
upstairs -- we had an office in the middle -- was probably running
in and out.
To your knowledge did Mr. Scharfen observe any of
And he did not participate in that activity,
That's correct, sir.
Did Colonel Earl participate in the shredding
As I recall, Colonel Earl's participation was that
of -- I recall him in the office carrying files, and my assumption
was that Colonel North probably had engaged him in pulling documents
and he -- my recollection is that he passed me the KL-43 messages,
which I have said were also shredded.
He -- Colonel Earl passed you those messages to
You were at the shredding machine and he saw you
there and he gave you the documents?
Yes, sir. That's my recollection.
Now you said the Colonel North was pulling the
documents from the five-drawer safe. That's the safe that had
previously been in his private office in 392?
The safe which you had not seen open during the
entire time that you were in 302?
Did you look at the documents that Colonel North
was pulling to be shredded?
No, I didn't.
Well, did you glance to see what kinds of
documents they were?
I really didn't take notice, sir. I was just purely
doing my job. I was shredding the documents as they went in.
Did Colonel North give you the documents in file
No, he didn't.
He was just pulling documents and handing them to
you to shred?
Did you obtain -- Did you notice whether any of
those documents were PROF messages?
I've -- I said before, sir, that I shredded an
entire file of PROF messages.
And those were PROF messages that you pulled out
from your files?
Did there come a time while Colonel North was
pulling documents that he said anything about a letter from Felix
And did he make a comment about that letter?
Yes, he did.
What did he say?
My recollection is that he said something to the
effect of, you know, "Oh, they'll have fun with this." And he
tossed it back in the safe.
He said, "they'll have fun with this"?
Then he threw the document back into the safe?
Did you know who Colonel North was referring to
when he said "they'll have fun with this"?
No. And I'd like to state that I don't know exactly
that those were his words.
That's what you recall?
Were documents pulled from anywhere other than
the five-drawer safe and your files to be shredded?
I'm not sure, sir. As I said, I think Colonel Earl
passed me KL-43 messages probably pulled from separate files. I
don't believe they came from the five-drawer safe.
What would -- How would you describe the quantity
of documents that was shredded, in feet?
Ah, maybe a foot-and-a-half.
How long did the shredding go on?
Possibly a half hour.
Now, you said before that you came over and started to help Col. North. You weren't meaning to
imply that the shredding was your idea?
Col. North had already begun that process,
That's my recollection.
And you assisted him, correct?
He didn't send you away and say, "I don't want
you involved in this."
Do you recall whether any of the documents you
shredded were NSC System IV memoranda of the type that we've looked
I don't recall.
Do you recall whether there were any memos to the
President among the documents that you were asked to shred?
I don't recall, sir. I did not shred individually
packages; I shredded 12, 15, 18 pages at once.
Did there come a point during this shredding that
the quantity became so great that the machine jammed?
I believe it did. The bag had become full, and as I
was shredding, it comes into a tunnel and it jammed, yes.
What did you do?
I placed a call to the Crisis Management Center, and
a gentleman by the name of JR came over and -- (laughter) --
No. He shook the bag, and the shredding material
fell, and he reversed the switch and also touched a button, much the
same as you might on a garbage disposal. And the machine unjammed,
and he removed the bag, and I believe a new bag was placed in.
Had that ever happened before during your time in
Col. North's office that the shredding machine jammed?
When was that?
On several occasions.
Had you ever shredded documents in such
Was shredding documents in that quantity a normal
part of the routine in Suite 392 or Suite 302?
Shredding was a normal process, but I would not say
it was at that volume, no.
Well, what did you ordinarily shred when
documents were shredded in Col. North's office?
Sensitive -- if a document was typed or not used and
it was sensitive, I would shred it. It was used for sensitive
materials, and it was also used according to your location to the
shredder. I mean, we used a burn bag and a shredder. If you were
close to the shredder, you shredded something; if you were close to
a burn bag, you put it in the burn bag.
All right, it was an occasional document or one,
as the spirit moved, to be shredded, correct?
There had never before been an organized program
of shredding on any occasion like the one that occurred on November
21, 1986, right?
Okay. When you left the office, was Col. North
still there on November 21?
I don't recall. We might have all walked out
together. I don't recall.
Do you recall Col. North leaving for a meeting
with what you understood was to be with Tom Green before you left
I don't recall. I think my recollection is probably
blurry. As we noticed on the calendar on November 21st, Col. North
had an appointment with Tom Green at 5:30, and I had recalled that,
to my best recollection, that the shredding process took place in
the early evening, 6 or 7. I believe there's a conflict there. It
could be that the shredding took place earlier; Col. North went to
the meeting, and he left that evening and I left following that.
Did you come to work at all over the weekend,
November 22, November 23?
Did you speak to Col. North during that weekend?
Did you come to work as usual on Monday morning,
Did you have a conversation with Col. North on
that Monday morning shortly after you arrived at work?
I walked in the office, popped my head in the door
and asked him how his weekend was, and he said, "It was lousy; I was
in here with Justice Department all weekend." And --
That was the extent of the conversation?
Did Col. North tell you any details of his
encounter with any of the Justice Department officials during that
Did he tell you they had found a document which
Did Col. North at any point up till then tell you
not to mention anything about what had transpired on Friday,
But you understood from the circumstances that
that was a subject you weren't supposed to talk about.
I understood every part of my job to be that way,
Including the shredding of documents and the
altering of documents, right?
On November 25, the next day, Tuesday, do you
recall speaking to Col. North before the Attorney General's press
What did Col. North say to you?
It was shortly before noon, and there came a time
when the conversation started between us, and he, I believe, was in
his office, and I was sitting at my desk, and he commented that the
President had fired him.
And I said, "Oh, Ollie" -- you know --
"come on." And he said, "No, I'm serious." And I said -- and I
became very emotional. In fact, I started crying. I was very
Did Col. North tell you why he had been fired?
You then watched the Attorney General's press
And you recall watching that inside Colonel
After the press conference was over, you went to
When you returned from lunch, was Colonel North
in the office?
I don't recall that he was.
Had he left you a number where he could be
Was there a time on November 25 when Colonel
North did give you a telephone number where he could be reached?
I believe that he called the office and I asked him
for a number where he was.
And he gave you a number?
And was that his home number?
Was it a number you recognized at the time?
Did you subsequently during the day learn that it
was the number of a hotel?
I knew at the time that it was the number of a
hotel because he gave me an extension.
Did you know which hotel?
No, I didn't.
And you can't recall now which hotel it was?
I don't believe I ever knew.
Sometime in the afternoon, did you receive a telephone call
from the White House operator?
Would you tell us about that call?
Sometime in the late afternoon, the phone rang and I
answered it and it was the White House operator saying that the
President would like to speak with Colonel North, and I asked her if
she would hold for a moment. I placed a call to the hotel and told
him the President would like to speak with him and I was going to go
ahead and give the operator the number and have her call, and he
said, "Yes," and I did so.
Did you subsequently learn from Colonel North
whether he had spoken to the President?
And what did Colonel North tell you about his
phone call with the President?
He said that the President called him, "an American
hero" and that he just didn't know.
The President said that he, the President, just
That's what I recall Colonel North saying.
Did Colonel North explain what he understood that
reference to mean?
And you didn't ask about it?
Okay. In the afternoon of November 25, same day
as the Attorney General's press conference, you recall that Colonel
North's office was sealed by the NSC staff?
That was under the direction of Brenda Reger,
who was the NSC officer in charge of Freedom of Information Act
Now, Ms. Reger and her assistants, in addition to
sealing the office were boxing up documents. Correct, Ms. Hall?
And you overhead Commander Coy and Lieutenant
Colonel Earl discussing how they were going to be able to work
without their files.
What did you do at that point?
I realized that I had not had a chance to complete
a lot of current filing. I, in fact, had a stack probably six
inches high or more and I pulled the filing from the lefthand corner
of my desk and began to separate it into categories to be filed so
that they would be able to pull the files and see the materials. In
doing so, I came across the original anal -- the original altered documents that I had
not completed the process at and, in fact, before that, had
Let's just stop there for a moment. This goes
back to the testimony you gave earlier. You had prepared new
documents, you had altered documents. You hadn't had a chance to
substitute those copies for the original copies. You were
interrupted and so you put them in the file on your desk in an
accordion-type folder, right?
Yes, and I would like to say that people -- that at
the time -- that, at the time, I did not know what was going to be
happening to Colonel North. I had no idea that he would be fired.
I had no idea of the real extent of the urgency of that process.
At the time you were --
And in fact, it occurred on a Friday when I was
interrupted and came in -- had a weekend -- and came into office
on Monday and was very busy and I forgot.
All right. So you had put the documents in your
desk file and as you say, you forgot about them.
Now in looking through that file on November 25
in the afternoon, you found the documents --
-- the altered documents and that concerned you.
Did you find other things that concerned you in
your desk file?
I found some PROF notes which I knew had been
shredded -- all the PROF notes had been shredded prior to that.
The PROF notes you found were the same type that
had been shredded on that Friday.
They were PROF notes, yes.
Did you find anything else?
Minutes of the Tehran meeting in May of 1986.
How did you happen to have those minutes?
I had seen a copy and pulled it so that I might
have, hopefully, an opportunity to sit down and read and maybe
understand the process a little more. I thought the minutes would
reveal an understanding of what the --
All right. So now you had found the minutes of
the Tehran meeting, copies of PROF notes and the documents you had
altered on Friday. You were concerned. Why?
I was very emotional at the time and I was concerned
about protecting the initiative of what was -- the initiative, the
Iran initiative and the contra initiative.
And you knew that certain of those documents had been the same kinds of documents that Colonel North was having
shredded on Friday.
I don't know that they were similar. I myself found
that the minutes would, I thought, be revealing, and my PROF notes
were personal communications and thoughts between two people that I
didn't -- you know.
And the others were the documents you had
Did you call Colonel North?
Yes, I did.
And what did you say to him?
I called Colonel North because Brenda Reger and
her assistant, Bill Van Horne(?), at the time had indicated they
were going to be closing up, and I became panicked at the fact that
I had discovered these and that they were going to be closing up,
and I didn't know what to do. And so I called him and said that
Brenda Reger was in fact there closing the office, and would he
please come back. And he said, you know, "No, I don't, you know,
there's really no need." And I said, "No" -- I whispered very low,
at a very low whisper so that Brenda Reger would not be able to --
and others would not be able to hear me -- that I was concerned
and that he needed to come back. And I was concerned. I tried to
convey to him that there was -- I had found documents, and I don't
know whether that was conveyed or not. I was, as I said, very -- my
voice was very low and I don't know if he quite understood. But I
-- he understood in my voice the urgency of coming back to the
office, and I insisted that he come back, and he did so.
You tried to signal him that the problem was
documents, and that's why he had to come back?
Did Colonel North tell you to clear someone
else into the Old Executive Office Building with him for a return
Who did he tell you to clear in?
And did he tell you why Tom Green would be coming
You did clear Colonel North and Tom Green for
I -- yes.
And what did you do after you finished talking to
Colonel North, and after he told you that he'd be coming back to the
office with Mr. Green?
I'm sorry, can you repeat the question?
After your conversation with Colonel North, what
did you do in --
-- connection with the documents that you had
found that were of concern to you?
I believe I left the original altered documents
downstairs and took -- I had -- as I said before -- I had started to
xerox the altered originals and had been interrupted, and I believe
there was a few copies of those altered originals. I took them, the
minutes, and the PROF notes, and a stack of other filing so it would
not look conspicuous, upstairs, and sat at a table outside of Craig
Coy's office, and began to pull the PROF notes and the minutes. And
I believe at that time, I probably took the altered copies -- copies
of the altered documents, folded them, and placed them inside my
boots. I was very nervous since I was outside and I could be seen,
and I wanted to do it very quickly. And so out of a panic, I ran
into Colonel Earl's office and asked him if he would help me pull
the PROF notes from the pile, and he did so. And that time, I did
not tell him about the altered documents or the Tehran minutes, only
the PROF notes.
The PROF notes were folded and he was going to take them and
put them in his jacket, and I turned -- he crossed the room to put
them in his jacket -- and I turned to him and said, "No, you
shouldn't have to do this. I'll do it." And he returned the PROF
notes and I put them in the back -- in my back. And turned to him
-- I mean, the door was left open -- and I asked him to watch the
door as I did this. And then when I had completed putting the
documents in my back, I turned to him and asked him if he could see,
and he said no. At that point, I believe we walked downstairs, and
just about that time I think, Colonel North and Tom Green entered
the office. The phone rang --
Did Colonel Earl go downstairs with you?
I believe so.
And you were now carrying all of the documents on
You saw Colonel North and Tom Green downstairs?
And Colonel North went in to take a telephone
call in his private office?
Did you follow him in?
Did you speak to him?
What did you say?
I asked if he could see anything in my back, and he
And did you indicate that you wanted to give him
something at that time?
You then came out and prepared with Col. North and
Mr. Green to leave the office, correct?
And was Brenda Reger inspecting all
briefcases that people were carrying as they left the offices?
And did she insp -- Was Col. North carrying a briefcase?
Did she inspect it?
Was Mr. Green carrying a briefcase?
I don't recall.
But whoever had a briefcase, she looked at it
before it got out of 302, right?
Now when you reached the corridor outside 302, did
you indicate to Col. North something concerning the documents that
you had with you?
Yes, I indicated with a gesture or words that I
wanted to give him the documents, and he said -- he turned to me and
just said, "No, just wait 'til we get outside." And we went down the
elevator, exited the Old Executive Office Building on 17th Street,
and, again, I indicated with a word or a gesture that I wanted to
pass the documents. And Tom Green said, "No, wait 'til we get inside
the car." We crossed 17th Street and got in Tom Green's car on
G Street and took off, and I started pulling the documents from my
boots, and then pulled from my back, and indicated to Col. North, I
believe, at this time that I had not completed the process of replacing
the altered documents in the files, and that I had started the
xeroxing and this was copies of the xeroxes -- that I had, in fact,
left the originals in the office. And, as he turned the corner --
Tom Green was dropping us both off at the parking lot where our cars
were parked. Tom Green turned to me and asked me if I was asked
about shredding, what would I say. And I said, "We shred every day."
And he said, "Good." We said good night. I got out of the car and
And the response "we shred every day" might
literally be true, in the sense, as you've testified, that documents
were shredded from time to time, right?
But it would have been untrue if it was meant to
describe activities such as those you had engaged in on November 21,
This was in Mr. Green's car?
You passed the documents to Col. North in that
And Mr. Green was at the driver's seat when that
That was on November 25, 1986.
Mr. Chairman, as the Committees are aware, and I
would just point out for the record, that Tom Green has advised the
Committees that he ceased representing Col. North on the next
morning, November 26th, 1986.
The next day was November 26th, 1986. It was a Wednesday. As I
understand from our talks, you came to work on that day and took
messages for Col. North. But nothing out of the ordinary occurred,
as best you recall?
Do you recall, either on that day, or some time on
the 25th, advising Commander Coy that you had shredded documents the
Thursday, November 27 was Thanksgiving. Did you
receive a call on that day from a lawyer working with the White House
Yes, I did.
Would you please describe that call for the
I believe it was Jay Stevens from White House
counsel called, I assume in response to the press reports, that there had been a shredding
incident in Colonel North's office. And he asked me, what I knew
about it. And I told him that, "We shred everyday." And I led him
to believe that there was nothing unusual about what had occurred.
You misled him?
On Friday, November 28th, the day after
Thanksgiving, did you go to the office of Colonel North's attorney,
to deliver messages for Colonel North?
I believe I did, sir.
And that was the office of Mr. Brendan Sullivan,
who was then representing Colonel North?
What happened during your visit to Mr.
Sullivan's office on that day?
Colonel North introduced me to Brendan Sullivan and
said that he was an attorney. And I passed the messages that I had
from friends and fans of Colonel North, to him. And Brendan turned
to me, and asked me if I would mind sitting down with him and
talking with him, that they would be interviewing hundreds of
friends and associates regarding Colonel North and I obliged.
Did you tell Mr. Sullivan, on that occasion,
about the shredding?
No, I didn't, I'd like to say that Colonel North at
the time motioned that everything was fine. Talk to Brendan, tell
him the truth, tell him everything you know, it's fine. At the time
I'm still in the process -- in a protective mode -- and when I
talked to Mr. Sullivan, I wasn't sure exactly what I was supposed to
say. I told him that we shred -- I shredded some PROF notes and
phone logs -- I did not tell him that we shredded all of them. And
that was to the extent --.
You didn't talk to Mr. Sullivan on that day
about the alteration or the removal of the documents?
All right. You came back to the office, and I
understand that when you returned Commander Coy told you that the
FBI wanted to interview you that coming weekend. Correct?
I believe I became aware of that when I was leaving
the office. I was in the mail room, and Commander Coy walked in the
door and said, "Oh, here she is," and I was introduced to two FBI
agents at that time.
Did you leave the office then, with Lieutenant
Colonel Earl, on November 28th?
I'm not sure if the three of us left together or if
just Colonel Earl and I left together, but I did end up talking with
-- being with Colonel Earl in the parking lot that evening.
Just the two of you?
What was your conversation?
We had a conversation to the effect that during our
being investigated by the FBI that we wouldn't discuss the fact
that I had removed documents from the office.
Both of you agreed, that neither of you would
disclose that. Right?
Okay. The next day, Saturday, November 28, 1986,
would you describe for the Committees what happened on that day?
To the best of my recollection, I received a phone
call from Diane Coy, who is Commander Craig Coy's wife, stating
that Craig was surprised by the fact, that he had learned that
Colonel Earl had gotten a lawyer, and that neither one of them
understood -- Diane or Craig -- why that was. That, Craig didn't
feel that he needed a lawyer, why did Bob feel that he needed a
lawyer? And I didn't comment on any of that, and hung up the phone
and called Linda Earl, who is Bob's wife, and asked to speak with
him. And she said that, he was in fact, down at the Old Executive
Building, being interviewed by the FBI. I asked her if it was true
that he had received a lawyer,
and she said yes, that he had become, I don't recall the word, but
maybe anxious, or had felt a little bit of anxiety that evening and
had talked with a lawyer until in fact midnight that night. And I
asked her at that time if she would mind placing a call to the
Executive Office Building and ask to speak with him, and have him
call me. And she said she would do so. She called me back to say
that when she placed the call, that the person that answered the
phone said that in fact he was with the FBI and that he would have
to call them after the interview -- call her after the interview.
She called me back, relayed the message and I sat back and became
very nervous. The more I sat, the nervouser I got.
I decided at that time that I should probably contact
Brendan Sullivan. I needed to talk to someone and so I
contacted Brendan and he agreed that he would see me. And I drove
down to his office and disclosed at that time that I had removed
documents from the office. And he advised me that I should seek
And you did.
Miss Hall, have you spoken -- when was the last
time that you spoke to Colonel North?
I believe it was the night of his wife's birthday,
You haven't spoken to him since then?
And at no time before then or after then have you
discussed with him any of the testimony you plan to give, correct?
And the same was true with respect to your
testimony for the independent counsel and here, correct?
And you've testified to the facts as you best
recall them and know them?
I want to thank you for your testimony. Thank
you Mr. Chairman. I have no further questions.
The Joint Committees will recess at this
time and meet tomorrow morning at 9:30 when Miss Hall will continue
as a witness, and we will begin questions with Mr. Eggleston.