Shortly after declaring a mistrial in the $5.1 million defamation lawsuit against Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy, a federal judge dismissed the case altogether.
U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz agreed with a motion by Liddy's attorneys to throw out the charges, saying Liddy did not act unreasonably when he repeated his theory about Watergate.
The move came just hours after the jury failed to reach a verdict after deliberating eight hours over two days. Earlier today, the jury sent Judge Motz a note reading, "No way we can reach a verdict," and a mistrial was declared.
Ida "Maxie" Wells, a former secretary at the Democratic National Committee, sued Liddy for saying that the Watergate burglars were searching Wells' desk for a package of call-girl photos believed to include a picture of the future wife of John Dean, former Nixon White House counsel. Liddy took the stand earlier this week and stood by his account. He said the burglars who broke into the Watergate were looking not for political intelligence on the 1972 campaign but compromising photos.
Dean has said the theory is ridiculous. His wife, Maureen, has disputed the existence of such a call-girl ring.