Sandy Berger has surrendered his law license, according to the Washington Times. Berger served as National Security Advisor during the Clinton Administration. He was caught taking classified documents from the National Archives just before he was to testify before the 911 Commission. He pleaded guilty and was fined $50,000 and sentenced to 100-hours of community service. In a written statement released by his lawyer, Berger says he realized his law license would be affected by his plea.
"I have decided to voluntarily relinquish my license," he said. "While I derived great satisfaction from years of practicing law, I have not done so for 15 years and do not envision returning to the profession. I am very sorry for what I did, and I deeply apologize."
However, Berger's apology does not extend to letting the government or the American people know exactly what he was doing with the documents.
In giving up his license, Mr. Berger avoids being cross-examined by the Board on Bar Counsel, where he risked further disclosure of specific details of his theft. The agreement is expected to be formalized today.
There has been lots of speculation regarding Berger's actions. Was he smuggling documents damaging to the Clinton's our of the Archives? Was he changing them in some way and smuggling them back in? Or, was he simply refreshing his memory before his testimony?
It appears we may never no. Berger's sentence required him to submit to a polygraph test, but the Justice Department has never given him one. Several Republican congressmen are trying to get a House committee to investigate, but the chances of that would seem to be low with the Democrats in control.
Brian McNicoll, Mr. (Congressman Thomas) Davis' spokesman, said yesterday the decision by Mr. Berger to accept disbarment rather than face questions "does seem to cast doubt on claims by Mr. Berger and the Department of Justice that he need not complete the terms of his plea agreement and submit to a polygraph because he has revealed everything of significance he has to offer."
The Justice Department has said it was unaware of any new facts to support a new investigation.
I suspect we'll never know.