Sandy Berger (NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’)
Two years after agreeing to a polygraph in a plea deal, former National Security adviser Sandy Berger still has not taken the test, prompting 23 Republican Congress members to demand action by the Department of Justice.
The aim is to determine “what documents were stolen and how our national security was compromised,” said the letter by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., to the acting attorney general.
Berger – who was placed on probation, fined $50,000 and stripped of his security clearance for three years after admitting he took classified documents from the National Archives – reportedly is advising Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but the New York Democrat insists he has no official capacity.
The documents have never been recovered, Rohrabacher points out in the letter.
“Mr. Berger removed the documents by stuffing them down his pants and in his suit jacket, presumably with the intention of getting rid of any damning evidence showing his involvement in the failure of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to prevent Sept. 11 attacks prior to his testimony before the 9/11 Commission,” Rohrabacher writes. “The Congress and the American people deserve to know the facts of this crime and what Mr. Berger was covering up.”
In 2005, the former Clinton aide agreed, as part of the plea deal, to have the Department of Justice administer a polygraph test, but Rohrabacher notes “two years have passed and he has yet to fulfill his legal obligation.”
As WND reported in March, the White House said it was studying whether Berger would take the polygraph test.
At the time, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., and 17 other Republican House members called on then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the Department of Justice to administer the test.
In January, a House committee led by Davis released a report concluding Berger went to extraordinary lengths to compromise national security and that the Department of Justice could not assure the 9/11 commission it received requested documents.
Davis, ranking Republican member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said his staff’s investigation revealed Berger “compromised national security much more than originally disclosed.”
“It is now also clear that Mr. Berger was willing to go to extraordinary lengths to compromise national security, apparently for his own convenience,” Davis said.
Last year, Berger plea bargained a criminal sentence on the charge of unlawfully removing and retaining classified documents. A judge gave him no prison time, a $50,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and a ban from access to classified material for three years.
The document upon which Berger focused was the National Security Council’s “Millennium After Action Review” on the Clinton administration’s handling of the al-Qaida terror threats in December 1999. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft testified before the 9-11 commission about the millennium report, urging the panel to ask why the document’s warnings and “blueprint” to thwart al-Qaida’s plans to target the U.S. were ignored by the Clinton administration and not shared with the incoming Bush security staff.
Last week, USA Today asked Sen. Clinton whether she had any qualms about having Berger advise her campaign.
“He has no official role in my campaign. He’s been a friend for more than 30 years. But he doesn’t have any official role,” Clinton said.
The paper asked Clinton to clarify whether Berger was serving in an unofficial capacity.
“I have thousands of unofficial advisers,” said Clinton, “and, you know, I appreciate all of that. But he has no official role in my campaign.”
Rohrabacher’s letter was signed by Reps. Dan Burton, Ted Poe, Peter Hoekstra, Virgil Goode, John Culberson, John Shadegg, Ed Whitfield, Virginia Foxx, John Carter, Kay Granger, Kevin Brady, Rick Renzi, Mark Souder, Todd Tiahrt, Doug Lamborn, Trent Franks, Michael Burgess, Thomas Price, Phil Gingrey, Paul Brown, Thaddeus McCotter and Randy Neugebauer.
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