That’s because 24 years ago, as former President George H.W. Bush was surging back against challenger Bill Clinton, a special prosecutor raised new charges against Bush in the Iran-Contra probe, prompting Clinton to claim he was running against a “culture of corruption.”
Many Republicans claimed that the indictment made by special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh against former Reagan-era Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger the weekend before the 1992 election cost Bush a second term. The indictment, later thrown out, challenged Bush’s claim that he did not know about a controversial arms-for-hostages deal that dogged the Reagan-Bush administration.
When it came, Clinton seized on it, saying for example, “Secretary Weinberger’s note clearly shows that President Bush has not been telling the truth when he says he was out of the loop.” Clinton added, “It demonstrates that President Bush knew and approved of President Reagan’s secret deal to swap arms for hostages.”