April 1, 2005
Former National Security Advisor to Plead Guilty to a Misdemeanor
According to several press reports (Fox, Jurist, NYTimes), former National Security Advisor from the Clinton Administration, Sandy Berger, will be pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. He will be admitting to the removal of documents from the National Archives. The material pertained to information on terrorist threats. Initially he stated that "he was reviewing the materials to help determine which Clinton administration documents to provide to the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks." (Fox). His act, however, caused no harm to the Commission's investigation as "[o]fficials with the Archives and the Sept. 11 commission ultimately determined that despite the incident, the commission had access to all the material needed in its work."(NYTimes).
As with all plea agreements, once entered in court it will up to the judge to decide whether to accept the agreement. Berger's cooperation with the government should significantly assist in having this plea to a misdemeanor accepted by the court. Additionally, he immediately acknowledged his mistake when he stepped down as an advisor to John Kerry's campaign.
It sounds like Sandy Berger tries to help friends. But this time it looks like he may have tried too hard.
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