The Senate Intelligence Committee has declined so far to provide the Justice Department with hundreds of pages of documents and testimony gathered in the committee's investigation of Central Intelligence Agency Director William J. Casey last fall. Officials said yesterday that Senate rules prevent such disclosure without a vote of the committee or perhaps the full chamber.
The documents include Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service memoranda that show Casey in 1976 lobbied top Treasury officials on behalf of Indonesia to win multimillion-dollar changes in IRS foreign tax credit rulings.
The Intelligence Committee last month asked the Justice Department to determine whether Casey should have registered as a foreign agent for Indonesia. Justice officials requested the documentary record of the three-month Senate investigation just before the Dec. 16 recess, but the request was not presented to the senators.
A spokesman for the Justice Department, Thomas DeCair, said its review of the Casey matter is going forward without the committee's material. Earlier this week another Justice official said that none of the basic documents had been obtained or examined and that no interviews had been conducted with the principals.
A spokesman for Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), the committee's acting chairman, said yesterday that "Sen. Moynihan would have no objection to providing the Justice Department with the evidence gathered by the Select Committee on Intelligence, but of course that is not a decision he can make unilaterally."
An aide to Moynihan, Michael D. McCurry, said the documents were being withheld under a Senate rule that says, "No . . . paper presented to the Senate . . . shall be withdrawn from its files except by the order of the Senate." McCurry said the committee members would probably not take up the matter until after they return Jan. 25.
Committee spokesman Spencer Davis said that "almost all" of the documents gathered during the committee's investigation were obtained from the files of the Treasury Department and IRS. He said that Justice Department officials have been advised to request their own copies of the records from those departments. "It's just part of the general caution of the Senate in turning anything over to the executive branch," Davis said.
Senate staffers said that in addition to the Treasury and IRS documents, the Intelligence Committee took testimony from a number of witnesses. Also, a 100-page report on Casey's Indonesian activities and other business dealings was compiled by one of the committee's special counsels, but the senators declined to make it public.
The Washington Post yesterday described Casey's lobbying activity in an article based on many of the documents, which showed that he was advocating specific changes in tax policy outside established channels with top political appointees of the Ford administration, including Treasury Secretary William E. Simon.
The CIA issued a statement yesterday saying that the law firm that Casey served as counsel at the time of his Indonesian work, Rogers & Wells, "made a good-faith determination in 1976 that no registration as a foreign agent was called for. The firm continues to believe that determination was correct and Mr. Casey concurs."