The nominee for Secretary of Defense was deeply, deeply involved in the Iran-Contra affair. He was supposed to be nominated for CIA Director at the time, but had to withdraw.
We're going to see the past from 20 years ago coming up in these confirmation hearings.
Here's a character witness for those hearings:
Independent Counsel found insufficient evidence to warrant charging Robert Gates with a crime for his role in the Iran/contra affair. Like those of many other Iran/contra figures, the statements of Gates often seemed scripted and less than candid. Nevertheless, given the complex nature of the activities and Gates's apparent lack of direct participation, a jury could find the evidence left a reasonable doubt that Gates either obstructed official inquiries or that his two demonstrably incorrect statements were deliberate lies.
Robert Gates... just wily enough to escape prosecution. Let him be the top man at the Pentagon, won't you?