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Deaver Got Warnings on Lobbying, Ex-Official Says

December 01, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Former presidential counsel Fred F. Fielding testified today that he repeatedly warned Michael K. Deaver's lobbying firm against improperly contacting White House officials on behalf of clients.

Fielding, testifying at the former presidential aide's perjury trial, said that despite this advice, Deaver told him that "it was of utmost importance that he be able to speak" with then-national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane about "something to do with the Caribbean."

"I suggested he speak with the secretary of state," Fielding said. "I advised him he should not" contact McFarlane.

McFarlane testified earlier in the trial that he had canceled a meeting with Deaver on Fielding's advice but that Deaver later dropped by his office unannounced.

McFarlane said he couldn't remember what was discussed on that occasion but recalled that Deaver had mentioned earlier that he was learning about a dispute over a tax incentive for U.S. investments in Puerto Rico.

Deaver, former deputy White House chief of staff, is accused of lying to a House subcommittee and a grand jury when questioned about the propriety of his lobbying contacts.

Fielding said he delivered his first warning in June, 1985, to William Sittmann, Deaver's assistant, after learning "there had been some concern among some of the staff people at the White House that they were being approached" by Deaver's employees.

Fielding said he had received two complaints and told Sittmann "he should not try to make further contacts with people at the White House."

Later the same day, Fielding said, he received a third report of a contact from Deaver's firm.

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