(And don't blame the leak)

October 21, 1991

THIS LEAK benefited, not harmed the public interest. It led to a detailed examination, which otherwise would not have occurred, of serious and credible charges of misconduct made by a serious and credible person.

Did the leak impair the confirmation process? I doubt it. If it did, the responsibility should fall primarily on those who conjured up the charges that Anita Hill had committed perjury, was fantasizing or was playing the role of the spurned woman.

Did the leak injure soon-to-be Justice Clarence Thomas? Undoubtedly, but that is because of the charges themselves. In the future, we may hope that such investigations may generally be held in private.

Floyd Abrams

The writer is a lawyer who represents newspapers and broadcasters.

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