He was only doing a citizen's duty

July 04, 1996|By Art Buchwald

WASHINGTON -- If you are wondering how those personnel files went from the FBI to the White House, I can tell you. I carried them there.

"I don't know. Whoever reads them for the administration."

Beware of scandal

"We don't have anyone with that title. Maybe it's someone in the Social Office. They might use them to check on who not to invite to the White House dinners."

"Well, why don't you just take them and I'll be on my way."

"I am not authorized to accept FBI files. It could be a scandal."

"How could it be a scandal? Every president since George Washington read FBI files about his opponents."

"They have to go to someone. It could be the political wing, but if I accept the files for them and then there's a congressional investigation, I'll be mud with Senator D'Amato. Why don't you just dump them in a trash bin over in Lafayette Square and forget about it?"

"That would be dumb," I said. "Suppose they are needed as evidence in a special prosecutor's investigation of the White House. I would be committing a crime."

I handed him the package. "There are dozens of people in the White House who would love to read these files. Why not give them to the first person who walks down the hall?"

"I guess there'd be no harm in that. But I'm not going to give them to the First Lady."

"Why not?"

"The last time I delivered files to her she left her fingerprints all over them."

Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.

Pub Date: 7/04/96

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