Sandy Berger to Plead Guilty In Pantsgate

Remember the story about former national security adviser Sandy Berger stuffing memos he was reviewing in preparation for his 9/11 commission testimony in his pants and sneaking out of the Archives with them? There’s a major update to the story.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former national security adviser Sandy Berger will plead guilty to taking classified documents from the National Archives, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Berger, who served in the Clinton administration, will enter the plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, said Justice spokesman Bryan Sierra.

The plea agreement, if accepted by a judge, ends a bizarre episode in which the man who once had access to the government’s most sensitive intelligence was accused of sneaking documents out of the Archives in his clothing.

The charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

However, a federal law enforcement official said a plea agreement calls for Berger to serve no jail time but to pay a $10,000 fine, surrender his security clearance for three years and cooperate with investigators. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the pending court proceeding. A judge must approve the agreement.It’s worth noting that Berger will have his clearance back right in the midst of the primary season in 2008.

Via Bridget Johnson

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