Washington's powerful and famous can relax. Their unlisted telephone numbers are secure.
The judge presiding over the perjury trial of former White House deputy chief of staff Michael K. Deaver last week decided to keep one of prime assets of Deaver's once-flourishing lobbying business a secret.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled, without public explanation, that Deaver's Rolodex file will remain under seal and away from the public.
Lawyers in the case said Jackson's ruling came in response to fears raised by the attorneys in a courtroom bench conference that releasing the file -- hundreds of other documents subpoenaed by the prosecutors and defense in the case will be released -- might lead to needless problems for some of the famous and influential people on Deaver's telephone list.
"It's his life," said Deaver's lawyer, Randall J. Turk, asking reporters to understand why the list is remaining under wraps.
One telephone number apparently not on the Rolodex gave prosecutor Whitney North Seymour Jr. some trouble last week as testimony began in Deaver's trial on five counts of lying to a congressional subcommittee and a federal grand jury.
Seymour was seeking confirmation of a telephone bill paid by Deaver's lobbying firm when he grilled former Deaver associate Pamela G. Bailey about whether she could identify Deaver's home telephone number.
Seymour apparently presumed that Deaver's home phone number, like many in Deaver's Rolodex, was unlisted.
Bailey said, however, that she didn't know the number and had to look it up on someone's Rolodex every time she called.
Moments later, Turk, seeking to puncture any element of mystery about his client, put a District
telephone book in front of Bailey and asked her to look in the
residential section under the letter "D."
No need to scurry to the sealed Rolodex. Deaver, once reputed to be one of the most powerful figures in the Reagan administration, has
a published home telephone num- ber.