Berger gets off easy

And no I didn’t mean it THAT way! This way:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors will recommend that former national security adviser Sandy Berger be fined $10,000 and lose his security clearance for three years, but receive no jail time, sources said.

The Justice Department announced Thursday that Berger would plead guilty to illegally removing classified documents from the National Archives.

Berger, adviser to former President Clinton, was expected to enter the plea in U.S. District Court in Washington Friday to a single count of “unauthorized removal and retention of classified material,” officials said.

The misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Reacting to the news of the plea deal, Berger’s attorney, Lanny Breuer, said Thursday, “Mr. Berger has cooperated fully with the Department of Justice and is pleased a resolution appears very near.”

Glenn Reynolds says it best:

So Berger stole, and destroyed, classified documents as part of a politically motivated coverup. Let’s just be clear about that. Criminal penalties, aside, the man’s career in public life should be over, and he certainly should never have access to classified documents again. Unfortunately, the penalty he’ll actually receive looks rather light — certainly lighter than most folks who stole and destroyed classified documents would undergo. That makes it all the more important that the details of his misbehavior get plenty of attention, and that they’re remembered long-term.

Chris Muir has a humorous take on this with a cross reference to scandal-plagued UN head Kofi Annan.

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