Former Reagan Aide Won’t Cut Short Safari to Answer Charges in Congress
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) _ Former White House aide Michael K. Deaver said Sunday he has no plans to cut short an African safari to answer charges in Congress that he may have lied about his lobbying activities.
″I’m just having a good time watching the four-legged hyenas here,″ Deaver said during a stopover at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport en route to Tanzania. ″There’s a great similarity between the behavioral characteristics of the four-legged and two-legged hyena.″
Deaver, a longtime associate of President Reagan and deputy director of the White House staff until he left in May 1985 to become a lobbyist, is under investigation by a subcommittee of the House of Representatives.
The subcommittee is looking into allegations that he violated the ethics code by lobbying his former colleagues in government on issues that he dealt with while in the White House.
An investigation by the government’s General Accounting Office concluded last week that Deaver may have violated the Ethics in Government Act by lobbying for Canada about acid rain, which he dealt with while in the White House.
A report prepared for the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee details allegations of possible perjury by Deaver during congressional testimony on May 16. The subcommittee is to consider the report in a closed session Tuesday.
Deaver said he was ″not concerned at all″ by the report. He said he, his wife, 16-year-old daughter, 11-year-old son, and his wife’s mother were ″having a great time.″ They are on a safari to Kenya and Tanzania that began July 26 and is to end Aug. 16. Deaver said he plans to return to Washington on Aug. 18.
He said he telephoned associates in Washington Saturday to discuss the report, but declined any further comment.
″You just have to let the process work its way through,″ Deaver told reporters for The Associated Press and CBS News, who spoke to him while he was at the airport preparing to fly to Kilimanjaro Airport in northern Tanzania.
Deaver made his telephone calls to Washington during a quick visit to Nairobi Saturday by chartered plane after getting word of the developments in Washington. He returned to the safari camp in the Masai Mara Game Reserve in southwestern Kenya on the same day.
The report to the House subcommitee recommends that an independent counsel, Whitney North Seymour Jr., study evidence of possible perjury, said the subcommittee chairman, Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich.
It asks Seymour, a former federal prosecutor from New York, to inquire into ″whether or not indictments for criminal misbehavior should be acted upon,″ Dingell said Thursday.