White House chief of staff James Baker, who has large oil investments, played a role in the administration's effort to lobby Congress on oil spill liability in 1990 as secretary of state, documents show.
The liberal research group Project on Government Oversight said Tuesday the documents raise ethical questions about actions by Baker.
Janet Mullins, a former State Department official and now White House assistant, called the allegations "bogus."
A memo from then-Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner to Baker indicated he and Baker discussed preparing a letter urging Congress to approve accords limiting oil companies' liability for spills. Baker didn't sign the letter.
Baker had promised to abstain from involvement in issues affecting oil and gas prices to avoid a conflict of interest.