Reagan assurances cool down Casey affair

By , Staff correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

The questioning of CIA Director William J. Casey concerning his past financial activities appears to be subsiding. President Reagan has telephoned Mr. Casey and expressed complete confidence in his integrity. To reporters, Mr. Reagan has said of Casey: "I have complete trust in him."

The questioning, from both Congress and the press, was prompted by the disclosure of a finding by a federal judge in New York.The judge held that Casey had misled investors in a fund-raising effort while serving as a board member and secretary of a now-defunct New Orleans company.

Casey, who did not at first respond to questions about his conduct, now says, "I didn't mislead anyone. I didn't prepare the circulars."

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White House officials say the facts of the case were known to them before the Casey appointment, and that the same information was discussed in 1973 when Casey was confirmed to be undersecretary of state and in 1975 when he was named to the Export-Import Bank.

The ruling of the New York judge is on appeal -- and there apparently is no information yet available on just when the appeal decision will come.

"Remember," a White House aide said July 16 in a conversation with the Monitor, "this is a civil case. There is no criminal action involved."

But would the President change his determination to keep Casey if the appeal goes against him? "We'll just have to wait and see," was the reply.

Reagan is known to be particularly fond of the CIA director -- and grateful for his help during the 1980 campaign.

As the President sees it, it was Casey who brought good management to the campaign and put the campaign spending operation in order.

Reagan also is known to seek Casey's advice on a wide range of sub jects, not necessarily those that narrowly focus on the CIA

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