White House appointments secretary Phil Wise will be called to testify today before the Senate subcommittee investigating Billy Carter's Libyan dealings.
The subcommittee announced that it also will call three State Department officials to discuss whether the president's brother had any impact on American foreign policy toward Libya.
Wise's name has cropped up several times since the Senate hearings began last month. An old Carter family friend, he was interviewed by the FBI several times earlier this year about a reported inquiry from Billy concerning the delivery status of some C130 military air transports Libya had purchased. t
The head of the Justice Department's foreign agents' registration unit, Joel Lisker, testified that Wise was reluctant to be interviewed a second time until Lisker called Wise's office around June 4 and told his secretary to warn him that he might have to appear before a grand jury instead.
Five days later, Lisker said he was called by Americus, Ga., attorney John Parks, who asked about the status of the investigation on Billy's behalf and inquired "whether it was going to a grand jury."
Subcommittee chairman Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) said yesterday that chief counsel Philip Tone will take new depositions soon from both Henry R. (Randy) Coleman, a close associate of the president's brother, and from Billy Carter to clear up certain "inconsistencies" in Billy's testimony.
Subcommittee lawyers plan to question Coleman first, perhaps this week.
In another development, the Chicago Tribune quoted one of Billy's companions on a 1978 trip to Libya as saying the president's brother was frequently inebriated during the trip. The witness, Mario Leanza, a 65-year-old Atlanta real estate man, said Billy drunkenly impersonated the president, loudly promised to help Libya obtain the airplanes it wanted, and refused to change his shirt for five days in 100-degree weather, the newspaper reported.
Subcommittee officials had no comment on the account except to observe that they plan to publish relevant "extracts" from the depositions of various witnesses, including Leanza, when they issue their final report.
Other witnesses at today's hearing will be William E. Quandt and Karl F. Inderfurth, former National Security Council staff members who spoke with Coleman by telephone about U.S. policy toward Libya before the 1978 trip. White House National Security Affairs Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski will testify Wednesday.
Representing the State Department will be David D. Newsom, undersecretary for political affairs; Morris Draper, deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, and W. Alan Roy, desk officer for Libya.