WASHINGTON — Independent prosecutor James C. McKay said today the Reagan Administration is reviewing the possibility of declassifying a secret memo at the heart of the brush Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese III had with a $1-billion Iraqi pipeline deal.
Sources close to the investigation said Wednesday that the memo told of a Swiss oilman's possible contributions to the Israeli Labor Party. The payments were meant to secure guarantees from the Israelis that they would not interfere with the oil pipeline that was to be built close to Israeli territory, The Times reported today. (Story, Page 19.)
It is understood that Meese's criminal defense team maintains that any such political contributions would be legal.
Meese attorney Nathan Lewin declined to comment on the content of the 1985 memo from Meese's longtime friend and associate, E. Robert Wallach, because it is classified. But he disclosed that the document was first temporarily classified by the Justice Department's security officer before being turned over to McKay, who agreed with the "secret" classification.
McKay's office said in a statement today that "upon learning that an unauthorized publication of certain information was appearing in the media, Mr. McKay provided a brief summary of sensitive matters related to this investigation to the President's chief of staff, Howard H. Baker."