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Lance says he's skeptical about getting fair trial

Bert Lance, the former federal budget director, says that when the "Lance affair" started 2 1/2 years ago he had faith the judicial system would give him the chance to clear his name. But now he says he isn't so sure.

As Mr. Lance's federal bank fraud trial begins its eighth week today (March 3 ), he and his co-defendants have asked US District Judge Charles A. Moye to remove himself from the case. They say they believe the judge is too biased to correct the damage defense attorneys think his case has sustained from alleged government leaks.

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The four are charged in a 33-count indictment with conspiracy to obtain illegally 383 loans totaling more than $20 million from 41 banks. They also are accused of misapplication of bank funds, making false statements to banks, and making false entries in bank records.