Oliver North Pleads the Fifth During Iran Contra Hearings

Cue Card preview image

General Information

NBC News
Event Date:
Air/Publish Date:
Resource Type:
Video News Feed [Gov't Hearings, Raw footage, etc.]
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
Clip Length:


During televised hearings before a special House Select Committee to investigate the Iran-Contra Affair, Colonel Oliver North invokes his Fifth Amendment right to not inciminate himself. This video is raw footage from the hearing when North and his lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, explain why North is refusing to testify.



"Oliver North Pleads the Fifth During Iran Contra Hearings." NBC News. NBCUniversal Media. 9 Dec. 1986. NBC Learn. Web. 18 January 2015.


(1986, December 9). Oliver North Pleads the Fifth During Iran Contra Hearings. [Television series episode]. NBC News. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=51259


"Oliver North Pleads the Fifth During Iran Contra Hearings" NBC News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 12/09/1986. Accessed Sun Jan 18 2015 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=51259


Oliver North Pleads the Fifth During Iran Contra Hearings

Representative DANTE FASCELL (Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee): Colonel, we appreciate you coming here, and one of the purposes also is to make this forum available to you to say whatever you want to say at this point.

BRENDAN SULLIVAN, Attorney: Mr. Chairman, we appreciate the opening remarks of the Chairman and the other congressman. It should come as no surprise that responsible counsel will advise the Colonel to assert his constitutional right not to testify. That is what we have done and that is what we will continue to do. In that regard, the Colonel has a brief statement to make to the committee, and we appreciate the opportunity to do so.

FASCELL: Thank you, Mr. Sullivan. Lieutenant Colonel North.

Lt. Colonel OLIVER NORTH: Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, and thank you Mr. Sullivan. I am anxious, as I know that you are, to put this matter behind us and to facilitate the important business of protecting the national security interests of the United States. I share your desire to put this issue to rest quickly and fully, and to further that end, I want to be able to provide a full exposition of the facts as I know them on this matter. In that regard, you know that I am and have been since June of 1968 an officer of the United States Marine Corps. As such, I have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I have tried to do so honorably. In the course of investigating this matter, members of this body, others have suggested that statutes may have been violated and an independent counsel has been requested by the Attorney General. Despite my very strong desire to provide Congress with my recollection of the facts pertaining to this matter, counsel has advised me that I should avail myself of the protections provided by that same Constitution that I have fought to support and defend. I intend to follow that advise exactly.

FASCELL: Thank you very much Colonel.