Friday, September 09, 2005

Berger fined for taking papers

Former National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger was fined $50,000 by a federal judge yesterday for illegally taking classified documents out of the National Archives by stuffing them in his pants. U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson, in ordering the fine, ignored a recommendation by government lawyers that Mr. Berger -- the Clinton administration's most senior national security official -- pay a $10,000 fine as part of a plea agreement reached in April. "The court finds the fine is inadequate because it doesn't reflect the seriousness of the offense," Judge Robinson said in handing down the sentence. She also ordered Mr. Berger to surrender his access to classified government materials for three years, perform 100 hours of community service and serve two years' probation. He also was ordered to pay $6,905 for the administrative costs of his two-year probation. Mr. Berger, who served as national security adviser for President Clinton from 1997 to 2000, had faced one year in prison and a $100,000 fine, but his plea agreement reduced the fine and kept him out of jail. He told the court yesterday he let "considerations of personal convenience override clear rules of handling classified material." He described the removal of the documents as a lapse of judgment that occurred while he was preparing last year to testify before the September 11 commission investigating intelligence and security failures."In this case, I failed. I will not again," Mr. Berger said.


Blogger NYgirl said...

This is a shame. I wish I had the time to blog about this one: glad you did it.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous p said...

one person scratching another persons back he didn't take no papers cause he wanted to... theres always 2 sides to every story.

1:21 PM  

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