Republican members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee are considering joining the Democratic minority in requesting that President Carter turn over tapes and documents relating to Secretary of State-designate Alexander M. Haig Jr.'s confirmation hearings, according to Senate sources.
When the committee convenes for the first time today, chairman Charles Percy (R-Ill.) is expected to urge his GOP colleagues to back a series of requests made last month by Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.).
If the Republicans join the Democrats' request, Haig's confirmation almost certainly will be delayed until after Inauguration Day to allow a review of the materials. Administration sources indicate it will take several weeks to gather and analyze the records and allow assertions of government privilege.
Pell has asked former president Richard M. Nixon for any tapes and documents relevant to Haig's involvement in wiretapping and controversial foreign policy advice while serving as Henry A. Kissinger's deputy, his role in directing Nixon's Watergate and impeachment defenses, and his discussions with then-vice president Gerald R. Ford about a future pardon for Nixon.
Pell has requested the similar materials from the White House. He has also asked Carter for documents, relating to Haig's brief tenure as former president Ford's chief of staff and his service while commander of NATO forces.
After first balking at Pell's requests, the Carter administration has authorized the National Archives and several other federal agencies to begin a search for specific presidential tape recordings and documents.
White House spokesman have repeatedly stressed that Nixon and Ford, as well as Carter, could invoke executive privilege to withhold the materials.