Originally posted by the Baltimore Sun/AP, 4/1/05 Former national security adviser Samuel R. Berger is expected to appear in federal court today to plead guilty to taking classified material from the National Archives, a misdemeanor, the Justice Department said yesterday.
The former Clinton administration official had acknowledged previously that 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 terror attacks.
He called the episode "an honest mistake," and denied any 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 classified documents in a leather portfolio. He returned most of the documents, but some are still 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 a $100,000 fine.
Good. I hope he gets the maximum sentence.
EDIT: The Post story makes you realize how bad he was.
Originally posted by John F. Harris and Allan Lengel in the 4/1/05 PostUnder terms negotiated by Berger's attorneys and the Justice Department, he has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and accept a three-year suspension of his national security clearance....
... The terms of Berger's agreement required him to acknowledge to the Justice Department the circumstances of the episode. Rather than misplacing or unintentionally throwing away three of the five copies he took from the archives, as the former national security adviser earlier maintained, he shredded them with a pair of scissors late one evening at the downtown offices of his international consulting business.
The document, written by former National Security Council terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke, was an "after-action review" prepared in early 2000 detailing the administration's actions to thwart terrorist attacks during the millennium celebration. It contained considerable discussion about the administration's awareness of the rising threat of attacks on U.S. soil.