17 May 2007

Sandy Berger Offers Voluntary Disbarment

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In a move calculated to forestall further inquiries into his thefts and destruction of Clinton Administration National Security documents from the National Archives, Sandy Berger has offered to accept voluntary disbarment.

He hasn’t been practicing law recently, it’s true. But it seems unlikely that he would be so willing to relinquish that valuable professional status without serious concern over what might come out under his own cross examination at a bar hearing.

Washington Times

Samuel R. Berger, the Clinton White House national security adviser who was caught taking highly classified documents from the National Archives, has agreed to forfeit his license to practice law.

In a written statement issued by Larry Breuer, Mr. Berger’s attorney, the former national security adviser said he pleaded guilty in the Justice Department investigation, accepted the penalties sought by the department and recognized that his law license would be affected.

“I have decided to voluntarily relinquish my license,” he said. “While I derived great satisfaction from years of practicing law, I have not done so for 15 years and do not envision returning to the profession. I am very sorry for what I did, and I deeply apologize.”

In giving up his license, Mr. Berger avoids being cross-examined by the Board on Bar Counsel, where he risked further disclosure of specific details of his theft. The agreement is expected to be formalized today.

Mr. Berger, national security adviser from 1997 to 2001, was convicted of removing documents from the Archives in 2005 while preparing to testify before the September 11 commission.

Fined $50,000, sentenced to 100 hours of community service and barred from access to classified material for three years, he also was ordered to undergo a polygraph test if asked — although the Justice Department has declined to administer the test despite urging by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III of Virginia, ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform.

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