Walsh, Lawrence Edward

Walsh, Lawrence Edward,

1912–2014, Canadian-born American lawyer, grad. Columbia (1932), Columbia law school (1935). Walsh's family moved to the Unite States while he was an infant. A Republican, he fought crime and Tammany Hall corruption as a Manhattan assistant district attorney (1937–41) under Thomas E. DeweyDewey, Thomas Edmund,
1902–71, American political figure, governor (1943–55) of New York, b. Owosso, Mich. Admitted (1925) to the bar, Dewey practiced law and in 1931 became chief assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
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, and later was chief counsel for Dewey during his governorship. In the 1950s he was counsel to a commission investigating organized crime on the New York City waterfront. Appointed (1954) a federal judge by President Eisenhower, Walsh resigned (1957) to become chief U.S. deputy attorney general; he returned to private practice in 1960. In 1969 he served on the American delegation to the Vietnam peace talks. He left his Manhattan law firm in 1981 and went into semiretirement, but in 1986 he was appointed special prosecutor for the inquiry into the Iran-contra affairIran-contra affair,
in U.S. history, secret arrangement in the 1980s to provide funds to the Nicaraguan contra rebels from profits gained by selling arms to Iran. The Iran-contra affair was the product of two separate initiatives during the administration of President Ronald
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. The investigation (1986–93) led to a number of criminal convictions, and Walsh concluded that President Reagan, Vice President Bush, and other officials had some knowledge of the illegal sale of arms to Iran and use of the profits to aid Nicaraguan rebels, and of the subsequent cover-up.


See his Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up (1997).

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