ABC Evening News for Tuesday, Sep 13, 1977
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(Studio) New disclosures are revealed and new questions are asked with regard to how much President Carter knew in Bert Lance affair and when he knew it.
REPORTER: Barbara Walters
(DC) President goes about business, adding nothing to earlier statement that he knew only of Lance's campaign overdrafts at time of nomination. Press Secretary Jody Powell says that he, Carter and Lance have gone over what President knew at time; notes Lance recalled telling Carter of loan loss problem at Calhoun, Georgia, bank, but that Carter didn't remember it, though it may have occurred. Powell acknowledges President was read press release on phone in December, in which loan loss problem is mentioned, but implied blame is put on decline in business and embezzlement case, not Lance's poor judgement. Other details of press release noted; it ends by suggesting comptroller's office has given Calhoun bank clean bill of health. Powell says only details of campaign overdrafts stuck with Carter. If Lance discussed finances with Carter in same way press release was written, in apparent design to conceal rather than reveal, it appears to lead to case of Lance misleading President
REPORTER: Sam Donaldson
(DC) Senator Govt. Affairs Committee conts. hearings on matter and hears surprising testimony from Atlanta regional director of comptroller's office, Don. Tarleton, who says Lance wanted to conceal embarrassing facts from FBI. Testimony is uneventful till last few mins., when Senator Charles Percy is given sworn statement, made by bank examiner. Examiner reports seeing Lance leave Tarleton's office in May, 1976, and that Tarleton later told him subject of meeting [PERCY - reads from statement, with regard to Tarleton's remarks to examiner about discussion of what could be done about agreement Lance's bank had with comptroller's office in event Lance was nominated for position in Carter administration and FBI background investigation ensued] [TARLETON - was questioned about this by IRS (Internal Revenue Service) inspectors, but doesn't remember discussion as described in statement.] Other details of examiner's statement noted; it will add to committee 's suspicions of cover-up.
REPORTER: Dan Cordtz
(Studio) Lance testifies to committee or Thursday; live coverage noted.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner