A former executive assistant in the White House security office, contradicting accounts by her old boss and co-workers, told Senate investigators this week that “everybody in the office knew” in the fall of 1993 that they were obtaining FBI files on “people who were no longer working there.”
The aide, Mari Anderson, an ex-Clinton-Gore campaign worker, said they even joked about some prominent Republicans still listed as current White House pass holders.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, who made her testimony public Friday, said it seriously challenges the White House assertion that its acquisition of hundreds of confidential FBI background reports on former Reagan and Bush administration officials was “just an innocent bureaucratic snafu.”
Anthony B. Marceca, the investigator who pulled the files, has said he thought everyone whose reports he sought “was properly included on the White House access list.” The former director of the office, Craig Livingstone, has also indicated that files on long-departed Republicans were collected out of ignorance.
Anderson’s testimony is the first solid dent in their explanations. Like them, however, she testified that she has no evidence that the sensitive information in wrongfully-obtained files was ever misused.
The White House Friday accused Hatch of “conducting taxpayer-funded opposition research for the Dole campaign.”