Special Prosecutor Paul J. Curran has issued a broad subpoena for any records held by President Carter concerning his family's peanut business and its dealings with Bert Lance's National Bank of Georgia (NBG).
Curran als has subpoenaed similar records from Charles Kirbo, Carter's close confidant and business trustee, as well as any written communications between Kirbo and the president pertaining to the peanut business.
The White House declined to confirm or deny receipt of the subpoena - the first known to have been issued to the Carter White House. But spokesman Rex Granum noted yesterday that the president was cooperating fully with Curran's investigation.
Kirbo said yesterday that while Curran was meeting no resistance to his requests, Carter had little or nothing in his possession to turn over to the prosecutors.
"I don't think they're going to have anything produced," Kirbo said. "The type of stuff they're after, I don't think the president has."
Kirbo said he saw no problem in turning over materials in his possesion, including communications between him and the president. He noted in Georgia that "we've given them everythin we have down here."
Curran was appointed special counsel in March to investigate whether any of the millions of dollars in credit extended to the peanut business by NBG found its way into Carter's 1976 presidential campaign.
The subpoena was described as "not unexpected." Sources said it called for "any and all" records relating to the warehouse and did not appear directed at specific materials. It was delivered in person by Curran to White House Counsel Robert Lipshutz, sources said. The date of delivery could not be determined yesterday.
"Discussions on an informal basis" between Curran and Lipshutz preceded the request. Kirbo, who said he did not know whether the subpoena had been issued, said that he was aware of these discussions, in which Curran "outlined what he wanted."
Other sources speculated that Curran issued a subpoena - as opposed to simply requesting the material - in part because "that's the way he works" and in part to protect his investigation from any suggestions of "special treatment" of the White House.
Curran appears to be moving quickly in his probe. In addition to issuing several subpoenas, he already has brought several witnesses, including the president's brother, Billy Carter, before a grand jury meeting in Atlanta.
Curran inherited the investigation from the Justice Department, which initiated it as an offshoot of its inquiry into banking activities of Lance, Carter's former budget director. The Lance investigation last week produced a 33-count indictment charging Lance and three associates with conspiracy in connection with $20 million in loans obtained from 41 different banks since 1970. CAPTION: Picture 1, SPECIAL COUNCIL PAUL G. CURRAN ... asks for "any and all" records; Picture 2, COUNSEL ROBERT LIPSHUTZ ... received "not unexpected" subpoena