WASHINGTON — Ex-presidential aide Michael K. Deaver supported naming a U.S. acid-rain envoy to Canada, although he told a grand jury that he wasn't involved in the issue, a witness testified today at Deaver's perjury trial.
"He thought this was the best way to handle the issue at the upcoming summit" between President Reagan and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, said Robert Kimmitt, a former National Security Council aide.
Kimmitt identified documents indicating that Deaver discussed the appointment at least three times before March 6, 1985, the date Deaver said was "the first time that I heard of the concept of special envoy."
The grand jury is investigating the propriety of Deaver's lobbying for Canada on the acid-rain issue after he left the White House staff in May, 1985.
A Feb. 27, 1985, briefing memo written to prepare National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane for a telephone call with Canadian official Fred Doucet indicated that Deaver had attended meetings on the subject.
Kimmitt also identified a package of documents to brief McFarlane for a March 2, 1985, meeting with Deaver on acid rain as well as material prepared Feb. 27 to brief Deaver for a meeting Deaver and McFarlane were to have with Doucet.
As Reagan prepared for the March 17, 1985, summit in Quebec with Mulroney, top Administration officials were split on whether to appoint a special envoy on acid rain, a big political issue in Canada.
Kimmitt also explained the notation "Deaver is still keen on a special representative" that he first identified Friday on a White House routing slip accompanying a Feb. 15, 1985, memo.
'Where ... Deaver Stood'
Kimmitt said he made the handwritten note to make sure that McFarlane and other National Security Council officials "knew where Mr. Deaver stood on the issue."
"I thought it was meant to suggest he thought this was the best way to handle the issue at the upcoming summit," Kimmitt said.
Kimmitt said he made the notation because Deaver had mentioned the special envoy at a meeting Feb. 13, 1985.
Deaver resigned as deputy White House chief of staff on May 10, 1985, and soon signed a $100,000-a-year contract to represent the government of Canada on acid rain and other issues.