Repub­li­cans urge Berger lie test over Septem­ber 11 tes­ti­mony

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Jerry Seper

Eigh­teen House Repub­li­cans have urged the Jus­tice De­part­ment to pro­ceed with a poly­graph test for Samuel R. Berger, the for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser who agreed to take the test as part of a plea of guilty of steal­ing doc­u­ments from the Na­tional Archives.

“This may be the only way for any­one to know whether Mr. Berger de­nied the 9/11 com­mis­sion and the pub­lic the com­plete ac­count of the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ac­tions or in­ac­tions dur­ing the lead-up to the ter­ror­ist at­tacks on the United States,” the congress- men said in their let­ter to At­tor­ney Gen­eral Al­berto R. Gon­za­les.

The con­gress­men — led by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III of Vir­ginia — said a prompt lie-de­tec­tor test is needed to de­ter­mine the ex­tent of Mr. Berger’s thiev­ery, es­pe­cially be­cause the for­mer Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion ad­viser re­viewed orig­i­nal doc­u­ments for which there were no copies or in­ven­tory.

Other sign­ers of the let­ter are Reps. Dun­can Hunter, Dar­rell Issa and Brian Bil­bray of Cal­i­for­nia, John L. Mica of Florida, F. James Sensen­bren­ner Jr. of Wis­con­sin, DanBur­to­nandMarkSoud­erofIn­di­ana, Christo­pher Shays of Con­necti­cut, John M. McHugh of New York, Chris Can­non of Utah, John J. “Jimmy” Dun­can Jr. of Ten­nessee, Michael R. Turner of Ohio, Kenny Marchant of Texas, Lynn West­more­land of Ge­or­gia, Pa­trick T. McHenry and Vir­ginia Foxx of NorthCaroli­naandBil­lSaliofI­daho.

Mr. Davis, for­mer chair­man and now rank­ing Repub­li­can on the House Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee, re­leased a re­port by his staff on Jan. 9, say­ing a Jus­tice De­part­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Mr. Berger’s ad­mit­ted doc­u­ment theft was “re­mark­ably in­cu­ri­ous.”

The re­port said the theft com­pro­mised na­tional se­cu­rity “much more than orig­i­nally dis­closed” and re­sulted in “in­com­plete and mis- lead­ing” in­for­ma­tion to the Septem­ber 11 com­mis­sion. It said Mr. Berger was will­ing to go to “ex­traor­di­narylength­sto­com­pro­mise­n­a­tional se­cu­rity, ap­par­ently for his own con­ve­nience.”

In Oc­to­ber, Mr. Davis led an ef­fort to hold hear­ings to de­ter­mine whether any doc­u­ments were “de­stroyed, re­moved or were miss­ing” af­ter vis­its by Mr. Berger to the Archives. He said the full ex­tent of Mr. Berger’s doc­u­ment re­moval “can never be known” and the Jus­tice De­part­ment could not as­sure the Septem­ber 11 com­mis­sion that it re­ceived all the doc­u­ments to which Mr. Berger had ac­cess.

Mr. Davis said that dur­ing sen- tenc­ing, Mr. Berger agreed to a poly­graph ex­am­i­na­tion as part of a plea deal, but Jus­tice never ad­min­is­tered the test, ac­cord­ing to two Jus­tice of­fi­cials closely con­nected to the case — John Dion, chief of the coun­teres­pi­onage sec­tion, and Bruce Swartz, deputy as­sis­tant at­tor­ney gen­eral for the Crim­i­nal Di­vi­sion.

He said Mr. Berger as­sured the com­mis­sion that it re­ceived all the doc­u­ments it sought but that some of the pa­pers Mr. Berger ex­am­ined were orig­i­nals for which there were no copies or in­ven­tory. He said there is no way to know whether Mr. Berger re­turned all of those doc­u­ments.

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