The “homework” being done in the White House on the issue of a polygraph for former White House insider Sandy Berger, who admitted taking classified documents from the National Archives and disposing of them, isn’t finished, presidential spokesman Tony Snow told WND.
Snow had promised a week earlier to check into the commitment made by Berger as part of a plea bargain to resolve criminal charges against him to submit to a polygraph, something that has yet to occur.
Snow was responding to a follow-up question on the issue from Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House.
“Last week you said you would ‘check into the polygraph test of Sandy Berger.’ And WorldNetDaily is grateful for your willingness, and now asks, what did you find out as the result of your checking into the possibility of Sandy Berger actually being administered the polygraph he agreed to take to resolve the case of his removal of classified documents from the National Archives?” Kinsolving asked.
“A thousand pardons, my homework is not in yet,” Snow said.
U.S. Rep. Tom Davis and more than a dozen other Republican members of the U.S. House also had called on U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to have the test completed.
The polygraph was part of the resolution of a case that developed in the spring of 2002 and the fall of 2003. That was when Berger, former President Clinton’s national security adviser, visited the National Archives to review classified documents to prepare for being interviewed by the 9/11 Commission.
He took some documents and disposed of them, and later pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his actions. As part of his plea agreement to resolve those charges, he agreed to take a polygraph test about the circumstances.
“Berger’s actions portray a disturbing breach of trust and protocol that compromised the nation’s national security,” Republicans on the House Oversight Committee said in a prepared statement.
WND has reported that Clinton signed the letter authorizing Berger’s access to the classified documents that later came up missing.
Berger pleaded guilty in April 2005 to one misdemeanor count of removing a classified document and was given two years probation, 100 hours of community service, a $50,000 fine and revocation of his security clearance for three years.
In a second question, Kinsolving asked about the status of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who has been caught up in a scandal in which he apparently participated in a process to decide on a raise for a bank worker with whom he’d been linked romantically.
“In view of the extensive media coverage, there are millions of Americans who are wondering, how does the president, as a devout Christian and faithful husband, believe that the Bush administration is rightfully serving this country and providing moral guidance to our young people by saying that it is not a firing offense for a man who boosted the salary of his mistress to head the World Bank?” Kinsolving asked.
“Well, I believe what we are talking about here is so-called firing offenses in terms of personnel policies and communications,” Snow said. “I like the fact that you presented it in a colorful and moralistic way, but I don’t believe that those particular issues were the proximate issues before the World Bank, or before the president, or before the board of governors at the World Bank.”
Snow confirmed that the White House continues to support Wolfowitz. “He has made it clear that he made mistakes. It is pretty clear also that there were problems … The fact is that he made mistakes; they’re not, in our views, firing offenses.”
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