WASHINGTON – Sandy Berger, the former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to charges of stealing classified material from the National Archives and lying to federal investigators, now faces an effort to disbar him in the nation’s capital.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates corruption in government, said today it has filed a formal bar complaint against Berger with the Office of Bar Counsel for the District of Columbia Bar.?
The rules of professional conduct for an attorney in the District of Columbia prohibit a lawyer from committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on trustworthiness; engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, deceit or misrepresentation; and acting in a manner that seriously interferes with the administration of justice, according to Judicial Watch.?
The stolen documents were copies of highly secret memorandum, possibly with handwritten notes, that allegedly were critical of the Clinton administration’s response to the “Millennium 2000” terror plot to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport.?
Berger, who was an adviser to the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry when the scandal broke, has held multiple national security jobs since the Carter administration and recently was a foreign policy adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.?
Berger initially said he took copies of the classified documents regarding terrorism from the National Archives by “accident” and then misplaced them in what he described as an “honest mistake.”? He later admitted, however, that after pilfering the documents, he destroyed three of the five with scissors at the office of his consulting firm.
Berger is scheduled to be sentenced July 8 and is expected to be fined $10,000 and suffer a temporary loss of his security clearance.?However, the deal reportedly allows Berger to reapply for his clearance before the change in administrations in 2008.?
“We hope that the bar counsel will enforce standards better than the Department of Justice enforces national security laws,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.? “By his own admission, Berger violated the rules of professional conduct for an attorney in the District of Columbia.?Judicial Watch urges the Office of Bar Counsel to promptly investigate Berger and revoke his license.”