TRIALS: Casey at the Bat

With a friendly wave, the Government's witness greeted the two celebrated defendants, whom he had known for years. Then William J. Casey, 61, the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, settled back in a Manhattan courtroom last week to answer the prosecutor's questions about John Mitchell, 60, the former U.S. Attorney General, and Maurice Stans, 66, the former Secretary of Commerce.

Bill Casey went far to undercut the Government's main case against both. The two men are charged with taking a secret $200,000 cash contribution for Richard Nixon's 1972 presidential campaign from Financier Robert Vesco and, in return,...

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