Whitewater probers check fingerprints on FBI files Investigators hope to learn who in White House handled the documents

July 08, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- Investigators for Kenneth W. Starr, the Whitewater independent counsel, have begun checking the fingerprints on hundreds of confidential FBI files improperly acquired by the Clinton White House, law enforcement and congressional officials said yesterday.

The examination of who might have handled the materials, the officials said, could provide crucial answers to some questions surrounding the improper acquisition of files on nearly 900 former White House workers and officials, among them dozens of prominent Republicans.

The fingerprint check, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, would show whether the documents had been handled by senior officials of the Clinton White House or other people outside the security office.

The files are two- to four-page reports summarizing a background investigation of an individual by the FBI. They can contain a wide variety of personal information, including reports of an individual's marital fidelity, history of drug abuse, run-ins with the law and medical or psychological treatment.

The forms asking for the reports were sent to the bureau by Anthony Marceca, a civilian investigator for the Army who was detailed to the White House security office from August 1993 to February 1994. Marceca worked for the head of the office, Craig Livingstone, a former Clinton campaign worker who had been active in other campaigns with Marceca.

President Clinton has apologized to those whose privacy was violated. But the White House has insisted that the files were never misused or even viewed outside the security office that requisitioned and stored them.

Pub Date: 7/08/96

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