Rep. Frank Annunzio, D-Ill., chairman of a House panel overseeing financial institutions, has asked the House Intelligence Committee to investigate possible links between the CIA and several failed thrifts.

Annunzio said Thursday that a former Justice Department prosecutor told a House Banking subcommittee staff member that while looking into a thrift failure "he was told by FBI agents to drop the investigation of one of the individuals connected with the bank failure because that individual had `CIA connections.' ""The prosecutor was also told that the individual involved had a `get-out- of-jail free card,' " Annunzio said in a letter to Rep. Anthony Beilenson, D-Calif., chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"If these charges are true, then appropriate action must be taken against the CIA," Annunzio said in the letter released by his office. "I know of no `get out of jail free card' that applies to the CIA. No agency is above the law."

Annunzio also said that during his panel's preliminary inquiry, staff members interviewed an FBI agent who said the former prosecutor's comments were correct and that statements about CIA connections were made in his presence.

In his letter to Beilenson, Annunzio said his panel began its inquiry after recent news reports.