According to a report by the Associated Press, President Bill “Clinton’s national security advisor removed classified documents from the National Archives, hid them under a construction trailer and later tried to find the trash collector to retrieve them.”
Former national security advisor Sandy Berger pleaded guilty and was sentenced over a year ago, but the report is first being issued now.
Berger stole the documents in October 2003 while preparing himself and Clinton to testify before the September 11 Commission. He was supposed to make sure that the commission got the proper classified documents. Instead, he stole documents from the archive and no one is sure if there are still any missing materials.
The former national security advisors was in the Archives when employees noticed some suspicious behavior. They did not confront him, but employees had been tracking the documents Berger was looking at because they were suspicious that he had removed materials during previous visits to the Archives.
An investigation revealed that Berger then stepped outside by himself with four documents in his pockets. He walked to a construction area, did not see any people around, and slid the papers under a construction trailer. Berger returned later to retrieve the documents and took them to his office. Two days later, Archives officials contacted Berger about the missing documents. Three of the four documents had been cut into small pieces and placed in the trash.
Berger pleaded guilty to unlawfully removing and retaining classified documents. His sentence included 100 hours of community service and a fine of $50,000. He is also prohibited from having contract with classified materials for three years.