OIS Cases FileGate-Exhibits-10-04
Number of Pages:6
Date Created:August 16, 1999
Date Uploaded to the Library:July 30, 2013
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against self incrimination. Livingstone was kept his position director even after the files matter was uncovered, and was not placed administrative leave until personally made the request June 17, 1996.87 Mr. Livingstone resigned hearing 88before this committee June 26, 1996. 10. Secret Service hearings The Secret Service provided numerous briefings members House and Senate committees and testified two hearings this matter. the Government Reform and Oversight hearing, was finally resolved that possible conglomeration Secret Service lists could have documented what now believed more than 400 individuals active passholders. Whatever the reason for the White House's assorted and conflicting explanations, became clear that the Secret Service was not fault evidenced Livingstone's own statement Special Agent Cole June 1996 when said, "We just wanted you guys know that weren't blaming the Secret Service. Using old list was our fault, and had the current stuff you guys gave us. don't know what happened." The Secret Service spent extraordinary amount time and resources carefully reviewing the quality the information provided the White House. Countless hours were dedicated examining any material provided the White House could have been responsible for the hundreds improperly requested FBI background files. the end, the Secret Service could not identify any systemic problems which would explain how this happened. 11. FBI internal investigation and report Director Freeh issued June 1996 press release denying that had any prior knowledge the White House's request for Billy Dale's file and announcing that had tasked the FBI general counsel, Howard Shapiro conduct investigation into the matter and report his findings Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, who had become involved June 1996, because links his Travel Office investigation.4o Director Freeh explained that any contacts between the White House and the FBI were governed the Justice Department's July 1993, post-Travel Office firing policies and the Attorney General's November 15, 1994 policy regarding White House contacts. Director Freeh assured the public that these policies "are adhered scrupulously." official FBI headquarters informed the press that Director Freeh intended "to make sure that the public's perception that there's not some cozy relationship between the White House and See June 20, 1996 letter from Jack Quinn Chairman Clinger, assecurity FBI Background Files hearings, June 26, 1996. Cale deposition, 37. 40Natificatian tlie court pursuant U.S.C. 592 (a)(l) the initiation preliminary investigation and the court pursuant U.S.C. 593 (c)(l) for the expansion the jurisdiction Counsel. Memorandum Jahn Inspector Charge, Office Public and Con!Fessianal Affairs, FBI, from Carl Stem, Public Affairs; subject: contact with the White Hause and other executive branch agencies; June 13, 1998. 42June 1996 Justice Department FBI immediate release. bureau executives." Another FBI agent added that Director Freeh "certainly doesn't want the bureau mixed this stuff."43 June 13, 1996, the FBI revealed that additional files prior Republican administration officials had been requested and delivered the White House the FBI. June 14, 1996, the FBI issued its "Report the Dissemination FBI File Information the White House," revealing that 408 files were sought and delivered the White House "without justification." Director Freeh noted that "the prior system providing files the White House relied good faith and honor" White House employees and that "unfortunately, the FBI and were victimized." Director Freeh noted, "Among the unquestionably unjustified acquisitions were reports relating discharged Travel Office employees Billy Ray Dale and Barnaby Brasseux." Director Freeh also acknowledged that these were "egregious violations privacy." Director Freeh promised the American people that "it will not happen again watch." FBI Director Freeh stated his report, the process has always relied the "good faith and honor" those involved. There are inherent risks involved when, instead "good faith and honor," political operatives, and inexperienced teenagers are put charge this highly sensitive process. 12. Attorney General Reno refers FBI files investigation Judge Starr Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr announced June 18, 1996, that did not believe his office had authority pursue the investigation the files matter without request from the Attorney General expand the scope his authority. response, Attorney General Reno announced that day that FBI Director Freeh would asked conduct thorough investigation into the matter. Following this announcement, the White House wrote Chairman Clinger promising provide full cooperation with the FBI's investigation and announcing changes being instituted the White House concerning its procedures obtain and review FBI background investigation files.46 Subsequently, June 20, 1996, Attorney General Reno filed motion with the District Columbia Federal Circuit Court requesting expansion Judge Starr's investigative authority that could pursue this improper use FBI background files. The order was signed June 21, 1996.47 a Wesley Pruden, The Limited Hangout the White House, Washington Times, June 1996, p.A4. Report the FBI general counsel the dissemination FBI file information the White House, June 14, 1996. '5Jd. FBI General Counsel Howard Shapiro stated that did meet with Independent Counsel Starr's office during this short period where had authority investigate this matter. though Mr. Shapiro did not provide the details this briefing, the Independent Counsel pro vided highly confidential background information Mr. Shapiro the status its investiga tion that time. unclear whether Mr. Shapiro turn relayed this information the White House "interested party" the Justice Department. "7Notification the court pursuant U.S.C. 592 (a)(l) the initiation preliminary investigation and application the court pursuant U.S.C. 593 (c)(l) for the expansion the jurisdiction Independent Counsel. 13. Improper contacts with the FBI The committee's investigation continued. Among the many questions, which the committee sought answer, was the hiring Craig Livingstone. Thus, the request FBI Director Freeh, Chairman Clinger, July 18, 1996, went Bureau Headquarters review Livingstone's FBI background file. Contained the file was 1993 agent interview Bernard Nussbaum wherein Nussbaum recorded telling Agent Sculimbrene that Craig Livingstone had come "highly recommended Hillary Clinton." The statement direct conflict with sworn statements made Nussbaum June 26, 1996 committee hearing. the hearing, Nussbaum stated that did not know who brought Livingstone into the White House for the position the security office. also stated that never spoke the First Lady about Livingstone.48 Prior the chairman's review ngstone's FBI background file, FBI General Counsel Howard Shapiro provided the White House with ''heads up" about the highly pertinent infor ation related Mrs. Clinton's involvement recommending Livingstone. The committee greatly troubled the fact that Shapiro advance notice this information the White House. has yet identify any legitimate purpose Shapiro's actions. The FBI failed contact the Independent Counsel, which had clear jurisdiction over this matter. Mr. Shapiro's specious argument that "the Bureau had responsibility advise affected parties." Mr. ignored the Attornel General's admonition that any FBI would create 'political conflict interest." Mr. Shapiro's actions potentially damaged both the committee's and the Independent Counsel's investigations, while exacerbating the already growing perception politicization the FBI. Subsequent the revelation the Nussbaum interview, Shapiro dispatched two senior FBI supervisory agents now-retired Agent Dennis Sculimbrene's home formally interview him about the Nussbaum statement. Agent Sculi brene got the impression that the White House was unhappy about his interview report Bernie Nussbaum. The sending agents Sculimbrene's home involved Shapiro operational matter, which inappropriate for the general counsel. Further conflicts uncovered Shapiro's testimony before this committee include his hand delivery former FBI agent Gary Aldrich's book, "Unlimited Access," White House Counsel Jack Quinn February 1996.50 The book was pre-publication form and the possession the FBI solely for its review. Shapiro testified that giving copy the White House was notifying them possible security risks posed information revealed the book. However, the White House has yet produce complete response the committee this matter. Shapiro's frequent contacts with the White House evidenced the fact that the first FBI general counsel over decade have White House pass, well his assistance White Quinn drafting letter Director Security FBI Files hearings, June 26, 1996, 57. 49Letter from FBI General Counsel Howard Shapiro Chairman Clinger, July 19, 1996. Security FBI Files hearing, August 1996, 33. Freeh. Incredibly, Shapiro offered his advice the letter, which attacked both the FBI and Chairman Clinger. light Attorney General Reno's determination that the FBI and the Justice Department refrain from investigating anything related the White House's acquisition FBI background files, the committee finds interference the matter clearly and totally inappropriate. Shapiro's contacts with the White House appear direct conflict with his position eneral counsel the FBI and suggest far too cozy relationship between the White House and the FBI. FINDINGS The committee, while investigating the matter the security FBI background files has made the following findings: FBI Background files often include the most sensitive and confidential personal and financial information about the individual being reviewed. The White House improperly requested hundreds confidential FBI background files seemingly without any justification. This was violation the constitutional rights and pri vate lives many citizens, whose files were requisitioned and reviewed House employees. Many the individuals were political appointees the and Bush administrations. This leads the possibility the Clinton administration was attempting prepare political"hit list" "enemies list" with the most sensitive and private information possible. The White House Office Personnel Security and the FBI maintained system mutual convenience which allowed low level staff access any file without question the FBI. The Clinton administration has, number occasions, failed implement safeguards that would have prevented this lapse security. Further, the longstanding policy the FBI, which relied the honor White house employees, was exploited Clinton administration employees. FBI General Counsel Howard Shapiro provided confidential FBI law enforcement information about Mrs. Clinton's role bringing Livingstone the White House. When Shapiro realized that the information contained Livingstone's FBI back ground file could dam.age Nussbaum and Mrs. Clinton, contacted the Office White House Counsel and read the incriminating contents Livingstone's file. Once White House Counsel Jane Sherburne learned that the information contained Livingstone's file could damage Nussbaum and Mrs. Clinton, Sherburne contacted Mrs. Clinton regarding the incriminating information. Sherburne possibly violated ethical standards informing private attorneys for Bernard Nussbaum and Craig Livingstone about confidential FBI law enforcement information. the day before reports his testimony before grand jury, lawyers for Nussbaum were told about evidence uncovered search Livingstone's file .that contradicted Nussbaum's testimony before the Committee Government Reform and Oversight. Mr. Livingstone received the same information. White House Office Personnel Security staff failed properly secure confidential FBI law enforcement files. The committee was provided with testimony and evidence that staff and interns without the necessary clearances had unfettered access the highly sensitive material the FBI background files including that more than 400 former Bush and Reagan administration officials. The FBI continued involve itself the investigation the FBI files matter after receiving notice from the Attorney General that conflict interest existed between the FBI and the White House concerning this matter. Mr. Shapiro notified the White House about the incriminating contents Livingstone's background file before the committee was allowed review it. Shapiro assisted with the White House and the FBI regarding vestigation the Reform and Oversight. unfettered access allowed remove confidential information from the White House, despite his own inability receive White House clearance. Marceca's removal information those files from the White House was inappropriate. the White House Counsel pre-publication copy Aldrich's book, thus allowing distribution the book the President's political damage control operation. Mr. Shapiro improperly allowed the White House access manuscript provided the FBI under employment agreement with former agent without any valid basis for doing so. FBI General Counsel Howard Shapiro naed documents that further criminal investigation. The White disputed documents only under threat contempt. The White House asserted executive privilege over documents that had nexus the President his need communicate with his staff concerning issues involving the Presidency national security. Many the documents received the committee, over which the President made executive privilege claim, contained routine administrative information communications issues having bearing issues national security. RECO:MMENDATIONS The committee has undertaken preliminary investigation into the improper release FBI background files the White House. This interim report the result that investigation. Hearings, depositions, and document review have produced additional questions still under review. The committee not satisfied that the public has the answers many these concerns. would therefore imprudent make recommendations set incomplete facts. The only exception concerns Mr. Shapiro's activities. Even though complete review Shapiro's activities has not been completed, clear from the evidence available the committee that Shapiro's actions were grossly inappropriate and that should, therefore, resign. This committee owes the individuals whose files were improperly obtained the White House continue thorough investigation these circumstances find out what happened their most private information. The committee suggests broad scope for the subsequent stages this important investigation. It, therefore, puts forward set questions for the further consideration the committee. Who hired Craig Livingstone? What list was used make the White House requests for FBI background files? Who reviewed the contents FBI background files for Reagan and Bush administration officials? Were the contents the FBI background files ever transmitted electronically any computer database outside the White House complex? What effect new procedures have the White House pass process and FBI background checks? What standard are place ensure that those without the proper not have access material protected the Privacy Act, which are stored the White House? What policies should imlemented ensure that FBI officials not interfere with ongomg investigations outside the Bureau's jurisdiction? II. WHITE HOUSE OFFICE PERSONNEL SECURITY HISTORY THE OFFICE PERSONNEL SECURITY The White House conducts some level background check individual requesting access the comv.lex and every inwho being considered for Presidential appointment.There are several ways which this background check can conducted, ranging from name check full field background invesHistorically the White House Counsel has been respon for reviewing the FBI background reports individuals for suitability purposes. assist the Counsel processing the background reviews, the Johnson administration created the White House Security Office.51 The head the office, holding the title Assistant the White House Counsel for Security, reported directly the White House Counsel Deputy White House Counsel.52 From its origination the Clinton administration, the White House Security Office was responsible for coordinating paperwork ensure that all the forms that appointees were required complete before FBI background investigation could initiated were order. addition, the office organized and maintained the background files and reports which were sent the White House from the FBI. The Director the Security Office was responsible for the initial review the FBI background reports for any infor mation which should brought the attention the White 51Prepared written statement Boyden Gray, Counsel President George Bush, committee tiles. 62Jd.