White House ‘wiping clean’
computer hard drives

By Paul Sperry

The White House is rushing to “wipe clean” the hard drives of computers used by President Clinton’s aides before the Jan. 20 changeover, a public-interest law firm claims.

Normally, when employees leave the White House, computer workers take a snapshot on tape of the contents of their hard drives and store the tape cartridges as part of official records, as required by law. Then they reformat the hard drives for the next

But according to Judicial Watch, Inc., political aides have ordered computer workers to first run the hard drives through a software program by the firm Jetico, called BC (Best Crypt) Wipe, which “wipes clean the drives so the next administration can’t retrieve any files.”

“They’re starting with [the hard drives of] the most important people first — the [White House] lawyers — and working their way down,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And they’re working through the weekend.”

He added: “It’s the equivalent of burning records, according to our sources,” who are White House employees.

The records are key to Judicial Watch’s Filegate lawsuit against the White House. General counsel Larry Klayman said he passed the tip on to U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth late Friday.

Calls to the White House were not returned by deadline.

Fitton said Clinton aides Mark Lindsay and Michael Lyle are heading up the project — which is being carried out by Charles Nash, a supervisor in the White House’s records management unit.