Several Administration Officials Believed Called in Deaver Probe
Several current and former top Reagan Administration officials have testified before a federal grand jury investigating the lobbying activities of former White House aide Michael K. Deaver, according to sources familiar with the testimony.
The grand jury was convened by Whitney North Seymour Jr., the independent counsel who has been investigating Deaver for five months. Sources said Seymour has been using the grand jury as a fact-finding tool, enabling his office to take testimony from key witnesses under oath.
Those who have testified before the grand jury in the last three months, the sources said, include former Transportation Secretary Drew Lewis; former White House national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane, former White House counsel Fred F. Fielding and Budget Director James C. Miller III.
In addition, the sources said, several executives of Rockwell International Corp. and Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Inc. have testified. Both companies hired Deaver as a lobbyist after he resigned as White House deputy chief of staff in May, 1985.
Seymour is investigating whether Deaver violated conflict-of-interest laws on behalf of foreign and domestic clients in leaving the White House and starting a multimillion-dollar Washington consulting firm.
It is not known when Seymour will complete his investigation.
Deaver, a longtime friend of President Reagan, has denied impropriety and has said he expects to be exonerated.
“It’s no secret that they have lost a number of clients during the independent counsel’s investigation,” said Randall J. Turk, an attorney for Deaver. “The firm is confident that once the investigation is concluded, that business will pick up again and they’ll be back on their feet fairly quickly.”
Cooperating With Inquiry
Turk said Deaver has no plans to close his consulting firm and is cooperating with the investigation.
In recent months, the governments of Canada, Mexico, Singapore and South Korea have severed connections with Deaver’s firm or declined to renew contracts, leaving Saudi Arabia as the firm’s only foreign client.
Seymour is investigating whether Deaver violated federal law by representing Canada on the issue of acid rain, which he had discussed in White House meetings while preparing for a U.S.-Canadian summit. Deaver later won a $105,000-a-year contract with Canada.