No Crime

Closing a door on Debategate

How did former President Jimmy Carter's briefing papers for his October 1980 debate with then Candidate Ronald Reagan wind up in the Reagan camp? The mystery titillated Washington last summer. "Debategate" entered the lexicon, and the inevitable congressional investigation began. The President dismissed the flap as "much ado about nothing."

Last week the Department of Justice, which had launched its own probe, agreed. The FBI spent eight months interviewing 220 people, including Reagan, and examining 1,000 boxes of documents and tapes, but could not find out how the papers changed hands. In its three-page report the Justice Department...

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