Skip to content

Get Judicial Watch Updates!


Judicial Watch • OIS Cases FileGate-Exhibits-10-02

OIS Cases FileGate-Exhibits-10-02

OIS Cases FileGate-Exhibits-10-02

See Generated Text   ∨

Autogenerated text from PDF

Union Calendar No. 469 
SEPTEMBER 28, 1996.-Committed the Committee the Whole House the State the Union and ordered printed 
Mr. CLINGER, from the Committee Government Reform and Oversight, submitted the following 
together with 
ADDITIONAL AND MINORITY VIEWS September 24, 1996, the Committee Government Reform and Oversight approved and adopted report entitled "Investigation into the White House and Department Justice Security FBI Background Files." The chairman was directed transmit copy the Speaker the House. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION 
The committee's investigation into the unauthorized possession hundreds FBI background files the White House remains progress. There are many questions that are unanswered; cooperation from the White House and other witnesses has not been full and complete; more witnesses must interviewed; and, many more documents from earlier committee requests are outstanding. Accordingly, this interim report inform the public the status the investigation the closing days the 104th Congress. The conduct White House officials 
The FBI files matter, "Filegate," serious issue the inton administration has encountered. The discovery the unauthorized access many FBI White House employees bad 
family. The fact that two thony Marceca, with extensive itica and checkered pasts were charge handling the files cause for alarm and investigation.
That present and former White House officials have not been forthcoming revealing who hired the two central characters this matter great concern the committee. The committee intends aggressively pursue the answers. Whoever was responsible for bringing them into the White House ultimately responsible for these actions. Placing the public trust such sensitive, private files the hands two political operatives was disaster waiting happen. And, did. general, the FBI files issue shows lack respect the Clinton administration for proper security procedures protectboth the President the United States and the national security. This all the more since the White House ignored recommendations from Democratic committee chairman the U.S. Senate 
take security precautions response reported security irregularities the first years the inton administration. 
The Clinton White House displayed lack respect for the privacy and confidentiality private citizens. The mere fact that individuals lacking professional skills and discretion were put charge demonstrates the cavalier approach the Clinton administration toward sensitive security matters. 
the early revelations the FBI files investigation, White 
were quick blame others rather than take responsibility. This happened even when all the facts were not known. First, was touted routine mistake; then was blamed low-level clerk; then the General Accounting Office; and then, the Secret Service. Each these explanations was thoroughly discredited. 
Some White House officials, through 
and unattributed background quotes the press, continue the Secret Service, even after that theory was soundly debunked. The fact that the White House seeks avoid responsibility for this matter, and instead passes the buck, ensures that White House accountability for its own actions will elusive. 
Furthermore, the FBI files issue made more 
difficult for the FBI and the Secret Service, the two agencies for protecting the President and performing security for trust actions the White House. Prior the files matter coming light, these agencies coo:rierated with the White House under the presumption "good faith'' relationship. Now, however, both have taken steps implement more skeptical, arms-length processes for future interaction with White House officials. This unfortunate departure from tradition yet another resu the growing mistrust our itical leaders Washington. Undoubtedly, black eye this White House. The conduct the FBI 
The committee also troubled another serious issue that reemerged during the FBI files investigation: the politicization the FBI. Questions about cozy relationship between the 
FBI and the White House surfaced the committee's investigation into the White House Travel Office the time, statement FBI Director Louis Freeh said, told the President that the FBI must maintain its independence and have role politics." These questions raised great concern because the politicization law enforcement democracy swift and sure way over the civil liberties private citizens. Consequently, the FBI rector took steps reverse these perceptions coziness. But did not prevent the hundreds files from being sent the White House without question. the course the committee's inquiry into the files matter, this perception resurfaced. The committee uncovered several questionable actions FBI General Counsel Howard Shapiro that find inexplicable and inexcusable. His "heads up" the White House Counsel had the effect early warning the subjects the committee's and the Independent Counsel's investigations potentially damaging information. Shapiro's delivery politically controversial manuscript, joint editing White House letter Director Freeh, and possession his own personal White House pass had similar effect. 
This committee witnessed blatant interference its investigatory proceedings. Mr. Shapiro's justifications for his actions are implausible. The committee seriously troubled the interference Mr. Shapiro the investigations this committee, well those the Independent Counsel. Mr. Shapiro himself acknowledged that his ''heads up" the White House was inappropriate. 
However, his coziness with the White House continues. Even the such relationship threatens the independence the 
The committee calls 
Mr. Shapiro tender his :resignation from the office the general counsel. 
The act resi nation necessary, the Director wishes restore the arms-length relationship between the FBI and the White House, well the public's confidence. Failure the Director will allow the continued erosion confidence law enforcement and the Director's own independent leadership. 
The committee has yet determine whether colossal incompetence sinister motive precipitated these events. have yet learn exactly who Craig Livingstone, who hired him and why. Answers these questions are necessary explain .the true story "Filegate." 
The committee's investigation has sufficient information real
ize the great danger the White House's unauthorized acquisition these sensitive FBI files. know the files were the hands political operatives, non-professionals, volunteers, teen-agers 
proximity photocopier, and individuals without security clear
ances. know there was virtually supervision over this sen
sitive process. know that some data was taken from the White 
House compound the home witness who has now claimed 
lReport Fiscal Year 1994; Federal Bureau Investigations; Louis Freeh, Director. 

fifth amendment protection against testifying before Congress. one yet knows where these files have been who looked them. The potential for the abuse the rights and privacy hundreds private citizens remains clear and present. 
The committee continues investigate this case and discover the true story. the meantime, the committee cannot yet assure the public that lax attitude toward and disrespect for the privacy and rights ordinary Americans has not gripped this White House. THE MATI'ER THE FBI FILES The discovery the files: Travelgate Filegate 
Since May 30, 1996, the Committee Government Reform and Oversight has conducted intensive investigation into the actions the White House and the Department Justice concerning the White House's improper acquisition hundreds FBI background investigation files former Republican officials. The genesis this revelation massive invasion privacy was with the committee's document requests for all previously withheld files Billy Dale. May 30, 1996, the committee discovered that the White House had improperly ordered Billy Dale's FBI background file months after was fired, when the White House finally produced 1,000 pages the 3,000 pages documents that were being withheld under May 1996 invocation executive privilege. 
The committee issued January 11, 1996 subpoena which included request for all records relating Billy Dale. The documents were due the committee January 22, 1996. Prior the 
the committee had submitted several document requests White House which included document requests relating Mr. Dale. 
Prior May 30, 1996, the White House Counsel had represented February 1996 that the only categories documents withheld were: "personnel" records, attorney notes, and "deliberative material" concerning investigations Congress and the Independent Counsel. 
Throughout the spring 1996, White House Counsel withheld this group documents. time did the White House Counsel make any representations that was possession FBI background file Mr. Dale. fact when Mr. Dale's file was forwarded May 30, 1996, the morning contempt vote was scheduled, was not even distinctly identified production log and was just grouped among documents emanating from "The Counsel's Office." Since the document had been obtained from the Office Records Management who received from the Office Personnel Security, the characterization the source the document was misleading. 
Yet the document did come from the "Counsel's Office" iden
tified the White House, why does the White House Counsel Jack 
Quinn claim that told the committee about the document 
February 1996 while Special Counsel Jane Sherburne, who was 
the same February 1996 meeting, claims she didn't know about the 
Billy Dale file until June 1996? The Counsel's Office has pro
vided mutually inconsistent accounts who knew about the Billy 
Dale file and when. important note that the Billy Dale file only was produced after vote contempt was taken the full committee May 1996. meeting with Chairman Clinger shortly before the contempt vote, Quinn informed the chairman that had not even attempted collect certain categories subpoenaed documents and had not yet undertaken review the documents for privilege issues. Quinn issued blanket "protective" executive privilege claim over the documents May 1996 the behest the President. Personnel records are not normally subject executive privilege. 
"Personnel records" are distinctly different from FBI background reports and are kept separate and distinct offices the White House. Certainly the Counsel's Office, which handles the FBI background reports, aware this distinction. After all, the Counsel's Office reviews FBI background reports and does not ordinarily review "personnel" records. The White House Counsel's Office was misleadfug how represented Billy Dale's file the committee. While the White House Counsel now tries revise the history how they characterized this file, the actions Counsel staff are representative the type gaming that was typical negotiating 
document productions. the committee, Chairman Clinger also was notified 
letter that President Clinton was formally asserting executive privilege over the then remaining 2,000 pages outstanding documents. Quinn claimed that Attorney Genera.I Reno reviewed the documents and 
agreed with the propriety assertion executive privilege.
Quinn represented that this assertion executive privilege was made President Clinton, the committee never was provided any documentation personal assertion President Clinton. May 30, 1996, when Billy Dale's file was The discovery the Billy Dale file 
The privileged resolution was withdrawn from floor consideration Chairman Cliner's request order review the new documents and determme the propriety-of President Clinton's executive privilege claims over the remainmg 2,000 pages identified responsive documents. 
The committee began immediate review the 1,000 pages already produced. That day, committee investigative staff discovered White House memo, dated December 20, 1993, 
requesting copy Billy Dale's FBI background investigation report. The request for Dale's file was sent the FBI months after Mr. Dale and the White House Travel Office employees had been summarily fired and FBI investigation announced the White House. 
The request form found among the White House's document pro
duction was memorandum format addressed "TO: FBI, LIAI
SON" and ''FROM: BERNARD NUSSBAUM." The form stated 
that Mr. Dale's previous report was being requested because 
was currently being considered for "ACCESS (S)" the White 
2Letter from Jack Quinn Chairman William Clinger, Jr., Co=ittee Government
form and Oversight, U.S. House Representatives, May 30, 1996. 
3White House document CGE 43641. 
House.4 attached memo indicated that the FBI complied with the request and forwarded the Dale file the White House January 1994.5 
Although the committee had previously issued, February 1996, subpoena the Department Justice for all records pertaining Billy Dale, DOJ never produced its copy the document. 
The committee asked Attorney General Reno provide information the Justice Department's knowledge its failure produce its copy the Dale file and the White House memo requesting December 1993, particularly light the fact was responsive other Justice Department requests and subpoenas. The Department Justice responded, stating that the committee had not requested the Dale file. The memo request from Nussbaum's office was not located its search. 

When FBI Unit Chief James Bourke was asked committee deposition about DOJ's failure produce this document, testified that had "no idea" why, and that wasn't his responsibility.s Mr. Bourke later explained that was the FBI general counsel's responsibility request document searches response congressional subpoenas and was not aware any request. clear that White House officials attempted hide its requisition and possession the Dale file: first, erroneously describing personnel file instead FBI background file; second, withholding under executive privilege; and third, for failing list this and other specific documents its final privilege log. 
The committee has yet find the reason why the White House requested the Dale file from the FBI months after was fired. White House's changing explanations for "Filegate" the first few days following the discovery, the White House offered several conflicting 
about how obtained hundreds FBI background The White House initially released statements from Craig Livingstone's attorney claiming that the activities Livingstone and Marceca were all "innocent mistake." Why did the White House quickly endorse the explanations Livingstone. and Marceca before getting all the facts? ''file clerk" caused the problem-June 1996 
White House Special Counsel the President Jane Sherburne issued statement June 1996, claiming that "file clerks" performing routine record.keeping effort "may have mistakenly" sought Mr. Dale's FBI background file.8 Ms. Sherburne refused provide the committee with the name the "file clerk" that sought Dale's file. Unknown the committee, the time, Ms. Sherburne met with Livingstone that evening the White House. Mr. Livingstone claimed know nothing about this growing "problem" the nthony Marceca's documents produced under subpoena the committee, (unnumbered) "(SJ" notation referred the type access 
sought for the individual. 
"S" meant that the White House was seeking access for Mr. White House Staff rather 
than for r for intern volunteer position. 
5Whlte House document CGE 43642. committee deposition James Bourke, June 17, 1996, pp. 62-63. Id., pp. 65-66. Statement Jane Sherburne, June 1996.