22 Jul 2004 Slippery Sandy
A New York Daily News report says Sandy Berger may have had plenty of opportunities to remove documents:
Former national security adviser Sandy Berger repeatedly persuaded monitors assigned to watch him review top-secret documents to break the rules and leave him alone, sources said Wednesday.
Berger, accused of smuggling some of the secret files out of the National Archives, got the monitors out of the high-security room by telling them he had to make sensitive phone calls.
Guards were convinced to violate their own rules by stepping out of the secure room as he looked over documents and allegedly stashed some in his clothing, sources said.
“He was supposed to be monitored at all times but kept asking the monitor to leave so he could make private calls,” a senior law enforcement source told the Daily News.
Berger also took “lots of bathroom breaks” that aroused some suspicion, the source added. It is standard procedure to constantly monitor anyone with a security clearance who examines the type of code-word classified files stored in the underground archives vault.
The same archives monitors told the FBI Berger was observed stuffing his socks with handwritten notes about files he reviewed that were going to the Sept. 11 panel. It is prohibited to make notes about the secret files and leave with them without special approval.
Berger’s attorney, Lanny Breuer, has denied the allegation that Berger hid papers in his socks.