SANDY BERGER’S DOCUMENTS….This is interesting. The Wall Street Journal, of all places, is defending the plea bargain that was concluded in the Sandy Berger case:
After a long investigation, [the Department of Justice] says the picture that emerged is of a man who knowingly and recklessly violated the law in handling classified documents, but who was not trying to hide any evidence. Prosecutors believe Mr. Berger genuinely wanted to prepare for his testimony before the 9/11 Commission but felt he was somehow above having to spend numerous hours in the Archives as the rules required, and that he didn’t exactly know how to return the documents once he’d taken them out.
More than a few conservatives have been crying foul, or whitewash, in part because Mr. Berger’s plea means he’ll likely avoid jail and lose his security clearance for only three years. So we called Justice Department Public Integrity chief prosecutor Noel Hillman, who assured us that Mr. Berger did not deny any documents to history. “There is no evidence that he intended to destroy originals,” said Mr. Hillman. “There is no evidence that he did destroy originals. We have objectively and affirmatively confirmed that the contents of all the five documents at issue exist today and were made available to the 9/11 Commission.”
Overall, I’m sticking with “bizarre and inexplicable” as my commentary on this, but I wanted to highlight the Journal’s clear confirmation that Berger didn’t destroy original documents and never intended to destroy original documents. They were all copies. This question keeps coming up, and I hope this settles it.