Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., chairman of the Republican National Committee, at least twice set up meetings between key administration officials and clients of his law firm, Hogan & Hartson.

In 1985, Fahrenkopf wrote a letter setting up a meeting between top officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and officials of the Semiconductor Industry Association. The industry association successfully sought to modify the scope of a study of pollutants in California's Santa Clara Valley, according to a source close to the negotiations.

Fahrenkopf was asked to contact Lee M. Thomas, EPA administrator, because "we wanted to make sure we got a meeting quickly," the source, who is a lobbyist for the industry association, said.

Fahrenkopf also set up a meeting in June between Malcolm Baldridge, the late secretary of commerce, along with other Commerce Department officials, and lobbyists for Toyota Motor Sales USA.

The U.S. subsidiary of Toyota is seeking to persuade the Commerce Department to grant its Kentucky plant the status of a "foreign trade subzone," which would allow it to import car parts at lower tariff rates, for an annual saving of about $8 million.

Fahrenkopf's role in setting up the meetings was first reported by the San Jose Mercury News and by columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak.

Under the RNC's charter, Fahrenkopf must serve full time in the post. Kathryn Murray, communications director of the RNC, who took questions for Fahrenkopf, said he puts in more than full time, and the efforts on behalf of the industry association and Toyota USA were minor. As chairman of the RNC, Fahrenkopf gets a salary of roughly $75,000 a year and a $2,000 monthly expense allowance.

In addition to his income from the RNC, Fahrenkopf is a partner in Hogan & Harton, a Washington law firm with numerous lobbying clients. Neither Fahrenkopf nor the firm would disclose his salary, but it is known to exceed $100,000.

Paul G. Kirk Jr., chairman of the Democratic National Committee, where he gets a salary comparable to Fahrenkopf's RNC salary, is a partner in the firm of Sullivan & Worcester and is paid $100,000 to $200,000 annually. DNC Spokesman Terry Michael said Kirk has never sought to advance the interests of a client of the law firm before any branch of government since taking the DNC chairmanship.

Gerald E. Gilbert, a Hogan & Hartson partner who represents Toyota's U.S. subsidiary, said "we call on Frank occasionally for his counsel and advice on legal and political matters. . . . He's a full-time chairman at the RNC. He is a partner in our firm, but he doesn't actively practice."

Gilbert said he "asked Frank if he would arrange the meeting. . . . I knew he knew Mac Baldrige fairly well." Gilbert, however, described Fahrenkopf's role in the discussion of the special foreign tariff zone as "minimal. He didn't know much about it."

Gilbert said the firm has taken Fahrenkopf on as a partner in hopes he will become a full-time partner after he leaves the RNC. "In Frank's case, we are looking for the future," Gilbert said.

The Toyota request has not yet been approved. Gilbert contended, however, that the granting of such favorable tariff treatment has been automatic for car producers, and that the reason for the meeting with Baldrige was to find out what was delaying approval.

The source involved in the Semiconductor Industry Association dealings with the EPA claimed that Fahrenkopf's role "was entirely innocuous." He said the purpose of the meeting, which was held with A. James Barnes, deputy administator of EPA, was "to make sure {Washington} headquarters was aware of what was going on in the regional offices" where the study of pollution was being conducted.

The study found that the semiconductor industry was not a major source of pollution in the valley, the source said. It was "acceptable -- a good document," he said.