The chairman of the House Banking Committee has asked President Bush to review national security adviser Brent Scowcroft's stock portfolio to ensure any potential conflicts are eliminated.
Rep. Henry Gonzalez, D-Texas, in a letter to Bush released Friday, also said he was worried about influence former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger may exert over the decisions' of Scowcroft and Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger.Scowcroft and Eagleburger worked for Kissinger Associates, a New York-based consulting company that represents large multinational corporations before they joined the Bush administration.
Until October 1990, Scowcroft owned stock in about 40 American companies, including defense contractors such as Allied Signal and Lockheed Corp., Gonzalez said.
"Several of the companies were also clients of Kissinger Associates while Mr. Scowcroft was vice chairman of that firm," the banking committee chairman said.
"I am deeply concerned by Mr. Scowcroft's stock holdings, particularly those in corporations that are clients of Kissinger Associates," Gonzalez said in a speech on the House floor. "Given the position of Mr. Scowcroft, his stock holdings present the potential for serious conflicts of interests."
Gonzalez did not present any evidence of alleged wrongdoing.
In October, Gonzalez said, the Office of Government Ethics "required Mr. Scowcroft to divest some of his stock holdings," including between $15,000 and $50,000 in Pfizer Inc., and in Hewlett Packard Co.
Julie Black, a banking committee spokeswoman, said the panel had not determined when Scowcroft sold his stocks in 1990. His financial disclosure form for that year is due May 15.
In his letter to Bush, Gonzalez asked the president to consider the issues he raised and "if necessary, take appropriate action to ensure that potential conflicts are eliminated."