Decision: The Debategate Probe Fizzles

A ruling by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals may finally end the affair dubbed "Debategate." The court unanimously overturned an order issued by a lower federal court judge that directed Attorney General William French Smith to call for a special prosecutor to look into allegations that the 1980 Reagan campaign illegally obtained briefing materials prepared for President Carter before the two candidates debated.

Smith declined to request a special prosecutor when an eight-month Justice Department investigation failed to turn up evidence that a crime had occurred. A lawsuit, brought under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, argued...

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