Davis Releases Berger Report:
Washington, D.C. – Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Tom Davis (R-VA) released the following statement today on a committee report that sheds important new light on Sandy Berger’s theft of classified documents from the National Archives. The report makes it clear that the full extent of Mr. Berger’s document removal can never be known, and consequently the Department of Justice could not assure the 9/11 Commission that it received all responsive documents to which Mr. Berger had access.
“My staff’s investigation reveals that President Clinton’s former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger compromised national security much more than originally disclosed,” Davis said. “It is now also clear that Mr. Berger was willing to go to extraordinary lengths to compromise national security, apparently for his own convenience.
“The 9/11 Commission relied on incomplete and misleading information regarding its access to documents Mr. Berger reviewed. No one ever told the Commission that Mr. Berger had access to original documents that he could have taken without detection.
“We now know that Mr. Berger left stolen highly classified documents at a construction site to avoid detection. We know that Mr. Berger insisted on privacy at times to allow him to conceal documents that he stole. One witness with a very high security clearance believed he saw Berger concealing documents in his socks.
“Mr. Berger’s review of documents did not conform to the usual requirements for reviewing classified documents in a secure facility and under strict supervision. The Archives staff’s failure to contact law enforcement immediately and their contacts with Mr. Berger about the missing documents compromised the law enforcement effort.
“The compromised law enforcement effort contributes to reduced confidence that the 9/11 Commission received all the documents it requested. The execution of a search warrant before Mr. Berger knew there was an investigation would have either located additional documents or enhanced confidence that he stole no others than those he admitted to taking.
“The public statements of the former chief of the public integrity section, Noel Hillman, were incomplete and misleading. Because Mr. Berger had access to original documents that he could have taken without detection, we do not know if anything ‘was lost to the public or the process.’
“The Justice Department’s assertion that Mr. Berger’s statements are credible after being caught is misplaced. One wouldn’t rely on the fox to be truthful after being nabbed in the hen house. But the Justice Department apparently did.”