Thursday, March 31, 2005

I'll have a Berger with a side of felony

WASHINGTON — Former national security adviser Sandy Berger will plead guilty to taking classified material from the National Archives, a misdemeanor, the Justice Department said today.

Berger is expected to appear in federal court in Washington tomorrow, said Justice spokesman Bryan Sierra.

The former Clinton administration official previously acknowledged he removed from the National Archives copies of documents about the government's anti-terror efforts and notes that he took on those documents. He said he was reviewing the materials to help determine which Clinton administration documents to provide to the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

He called the episode "an honest mistake," and denied criminal wrongdoing.
Berger and his lawyer, Lanny Breuer, have said Berger knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket and pants and inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio. He returned most of the documents, but some still are missing.

The charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

The materials related to a 2000 report on how government reacted to the terror threat prior to the millennium celebrations.

Something fishy is still up with this. Your humble Chief has been in situations where he has had to handle sensitive items and I have never had to stuff classified documents in my socks! This isn't a field operation where sometimes people get sloppy and cut corners in order to get things done, it was a former senior official at a government archive. It was not a mistake, he knew what he was doing. Most likely he is plea bargaining to avoid having to explain in public why he stole those documents, and for whom.

1 comment:

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