WASHINGTON – A public-interest law firm claims that Clinton-Gore staffers allegedly stole computer laptops from the White House when they left in January.
“I know based on sources who have proved credible in the past, that Bush officials – whether they be career staff or political staff – have knowledge that laptops were stolen,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“And they were stolen by outgoing Clinton-Gore people,” he added.
Judicial Watch in February filed a brief about the alleged thefts with a federal judge hearing its $90 million Filegate lawsuit. Fitton says the laptops could contain evidence relevant to Judicial Watch’s case against former Clinton White House officials, including Sen. Hillary Clinton.
He says his sources, who work in the White House, refuse to sign affidavits because they fear retaliation from Clinton-Gore holdovers still working in the White House.
In interviews with WorldNetDaily, career White House employees who helped assess and repair the damage to vandalized equipment in the White House say they have no knowledge of stolen laptops.
A White House computer worker says most laptops issued to staffers there are Compaq Presarios, which cost roughly $1,500 each.
A White House spokesman contacted by WorldNetDaily is looking into the theft claims.
Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., alluded to missing White House property in a recent letter to the General Accounting Office which requests a thorough investigation of the vandalism. As yet, no former staffer has been held accountable.
Barr wrote: “The American taxpayers deserve to know what taxpayer property was damaged or unaccounted for during the transition.”
Fitton says he does not know the number of laptops that were allegedly stolen or from which part of the White House they were allegedly stolen.
“I can’t tell you that,” Fitton said. “But this whole incident is a lot worse than the Bush people are letting on. It involves theft, not just vandalism.”
And the damage from vandalism wasn’t limited to White House computer keyboards, phones and doors, he maintains, as was first reported by WorldNetDaily in January and confirmed Friday by Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer in a list of damages provided to the Washington Post.
Fitton, citing Judicial Watch’s same unnamed White House sources, says that “virtually every” desk in the vice president’s suite of offices in the Eisenhower Building, or Old Executive Office Building, which is adjacent to the West Wing, had to be replaced because outgoing Clinton-Gore staffers had vandalized them.
He says he’s keeping his sources confidential to guard them from reprisal.
“People are hesitant to come forward because they still fear retaliation from officials in the Bush White House who are holdovers from the Clinton administration,” he explained.
A congressional source close to House Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton says it’s unlikely that he will hold hearings on the scandal, which is finally, after five months, being addressed in detail by Bush officials. Barr is a member of the committee.