The Corner

Berger’s Law, Berger’s Crime

Instapundit has the relevant statute covering Berger’s behavior.

But let me also add that I do doubt this will all come to a major scandal. I’m not positive of that, but that’s my gut feeling. I do think it’s a pretty hilarious story as pure Washington mayhem goes, which probably explains my enthusiastic blogging on it today.

My guess is that this will all boil down — ironically for a Clinton scandal — to Berger’s pants. I just listened to David Gergen on CNN say that all Berger did was fold some notes up and put them in his pockets. Case closed. No harm, no foul. Now, of course, Gergen has nothing to base that on except for what his friend Sandy Berger and Berger’s PR team tell him. He wasn’t at the national archives, he isn’t privy to the investigation etc. But if Gergen’s version — which may be the correct one — wins, this story will go away, and pretty quickly.

However, if it turns out to be the case that Berger did in fact stuff items down his pants — or in his sock/pant-leg — then no amount of spinning will make Berger’s actions seem trivial. Yes, I understand his argument. He says he “inadvertantly” stole the important things while he “knowingly” snuck out the unimportant things. But this sounds a bit like a cop saying he illegally took notes on evidence pertaining to another case in the property room and while he was stuffing those notes in his pants he accidentally stole a bag of cocaine. The story may be true, but it’s just too plain fishy.

Again, I doubt Berger would go to jail or anything like that, but if that’s what he did (and some reports have it that played fast and loose with the rules more than once) then he will deserve much of the grief he gets.

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