Pittsburgh Millionaire Finances Bulk of Westmoreland Defense Against CBS
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Retired Gen. William Westmoreland financed most of his $3 million lawsuit against CBS Inc. with help from Richard Mellon Scaife, a conservative Pittsburgh millionaire, a newspaper reported today.
Scaife put up more than $2 million toward the case, the Washington Post said it learned from Dan Burt, Westmoreland’s chief defense attorney.
Burt said Scaife interests approved another ″large grant″ this week to help offset the cost of the trial, the Post reported. The newest donation was in ″six figures,″ Burt told the newspaper, but declined to be more specific.
Scaife, a newspaper publisher and great-grandson of the founder of the Mellon oil and banking empire, is a frequent contributor to New Right causes.
Burt is president of the Capital Legal Foundation, a business-sponsored public interest law firm that promotes free markets.
He said the Westmoreland case came to his attention through Richard Larry, an administrative aide to Scaife at the Scaife Family Charitable Trusts.
Westmoreland sued CBS over a documentary, ″The Uncounted Enemy,″ that said he deliberately underestimated enemy troop strength in Vietnam. The case ended last week before going to the jury when the two parties reached a settlement.
Burt denied speculation that Westmoreland had run out of money. Money was ″never an issue, not really,″ he told the Post.
The newspaper said neither Scaife nor Larry, his aide, could be reached for comment.