Three Democrats on the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee have asked the General Accounting Office to conduct an "independent review" of $118,000 in loans to senior White House aides Edwin Meese III and Michael K. Deaver in 1981, when they were getting the California accountant who arranged the loans a seat on the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors.
Rep. William E. Ford (D-Mich.), chairman of the committee, and two subcommittee chairmen, Reps. Robert Garcia (D-N.Y.) and Mickey Leland (D-Tex.), requested the GAO review in a letter Tuesday to Comptroller General Charles A. Bowsher, according to a Ford aide. They sent a similar letter to White House counsel Fred F. Fielding, asking for results of a review he has begun.
The congressmen told Fielding that they had to be concerned about any allegation that suggests "even the appearance of impropriety with regard to a governor's nomination" because the Postal Service governors have "virtually total policy-making control over this enormous public enterprise."
The Washington Post reported last week that San Francisco accountant John R. McKean arranged loans, which totaled $60,000 for presidential counselor Meese, and another, for $58,000 for Deaver, deputy chief of staff, to buy a truck, in 1981 when they were recommending him for the $10,000-a-year job.
McKean and a Meese aide said there was no connection between the loans and the presidential appointment.
The GAO is being asked to review the transactions, "their timing in relation to Mr. McKean's nomination and the comprehensiveness and timeliness of their reporting," the Ford aide said.
McKean told The Post that he merely acted as a trustee for the Meese loans, although he is listed on Meese's financial disclosure form as the creditor.