Records show more FBI files at White House As many as 500 additional reports may have been sought

June 26, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- The White House improperly received confidential FBI files on perhaps several hundred more people than previously acknowledged, computer work records show, including files on prominent members of the Bush administration foreign policy team.

The documents were discovered on two computer discs used by Anthony Marceca, the civilian Army investigator detailed to the Clinton White House security office in late 1993 to help clear up a backlog of security clearances.

It was not clear from the documents how many FBI files were obtained altogether. But the disclosure seemed certain to give new impetus to an episode that has already turned into a major embarrassment for the White House.

Members of Congress have compared the gathering of files on prominent Republicans to the Nixon administration's "enemies list" and suggested that the White House's inability to give a clear account of it amounts to a cover-up.

The White House and the FBI had earlier put the number of improperly requested files at 407. But Marceca's personal files show that the White House also obtained perhaps as many as 500 additional reports, including those on Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser, and other members of the National Security Council staff at the White House during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

In addition to Scowcroft, other Bush administration officials whose files were obtained by the White House included Robert M. Gates, the security council's deputy director and later director of Central Intelligence; Condoleeza Rice, the security council's expert on Russia; Richard N. Haass, its top Middle East expert; Peter Rodman, its chief policy analyst; and Nicholas Rostow, its counsel.

Others listed in Marceca's records included many career State Department officials who worked at the security council during Republican administrations, such as David Welch, who is currently the principal deputy secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.

The documents from Marceca's laptop computer were delivered yesterday to the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, which is investigating the issue of the FBI files, and were made available to the New York Times in advance of his testimony before the committee today.

Rep. William F. Clinger Jr., a Pennsylvania Republican and chairman of the committee, said last night that "the disclosure that Marceca requested FBI files of former National Security Council staff members only serves to reinforce the concerns all Americans should feel about this incredible breach of security."

Mark Fabiani, a deputy White House counsel, said yesterday that the Clinton administration was unaware of the additional requests for files described in the computer records.

White House officials and committee Democrats have called the obtaining of Republican files a "bureaucratic snafu," and have said that Marceca made the requests for the FBI files by using an outdated list of people who had access to the White House provided by the Secret Service.

Secret Service officials testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that they did not, nor could they have, provided an outdated list to the White House security office.

Richard Miller, an assistant director of the Secret Service, told the committee that he had no idea what list Marceca used from which to request the files.

But Marceca has recently provided more detailed answers to investigators about how he went about his task after having been assigned in August 1993 to the White House security office.

His supervisor there, Craig Livingstone, a Clinton political appointee placed on paid leave last week, is also to testify today.

Marceca has told investigators that the list he used was one he found in the office vaults when he arrived at the White House. He said that he believed that the list was current and that he did not seek any updates.

Secret Service officials have said that they have a master list of 24,000 names that includes people who worked at the White House as long as eight years ago, but that those names are identified by an "A" for active or "I" for inactive.

Marceca has also told investigators, who declined to be identified, that he does not recall seeing notations after each name with the letter "I" or "A" on the list he used, nor would he have been familiar with what those notations meant.

Pub Date: 6/26/96

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