The General Accounting Office, the congressional watchdog agency, said today it is investigating Michael K. Deaver, a close friend and former top aide to President Reagan, for his work as a consultant for the Canadian government.
The request for the investigation, made by Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) last Dec. 10, centered on Deaver’s work for the Canadian government but was written to also cover “other issues,” a GAO spokesman said.
GAO said the investigation is expected to last several months.
Deaver, who resigned last May as White House deputy chief of staff to form the lobbying firm of Michael K. Deaver & Associates, lists among his clients the Rockwell International Corp., manufacturer of the Air Force’s B-1 bomber; the royal kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the governments of Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Singapore.
Canada retained Deaver to assist it in dealing with the Administration on the acid-rain issue and other bilateral matters.
The federal ethics law, the basis of the investigation, is aimed at restricting former officials’ exercise of influence.
GAO officials said the inquiry is focusing on whether there is any connection between Deaver’s work on the acid-rain problem while at the White House, his subsequent retention as acid-rain consultant by Canada and his role in influencing the Administration to alter its stance and reach an agreement on the issue last month with Canada.
Deaver and White House officials deny he has broken the law since leaving Reagan’s staff last May. However, advisers in Santa Barbara, Calif., where Reagan is vacationing, have said that Deaver’s activities and news reports about his lobbying the government have them concerned.
Questions arose earlier this week on Deaver’s meeting in February with budget director James C. Miller III to push for more government purchases of the B-1.