The Washington Times' Jerry Seper reports this morning on the
guilty plea entered by former top
State Department official Donald Keyser for "unlawfully removing
government documents, including some 'top secret' material, and to making false
official statements." Keyser, former principal deputy assistant secretary
of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, faces eight years in prison,
disqualification from holding any public office and $250,000 in fines.
According to reports, Keyser was a highly regarded career employee whose
counsel was valued by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. $250K. 8
years in the slammer.
Last year, former Clinton
National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was allowed to plead
guilty to a misdemenor for what several news agencies reported as the
following: stealing from the National Archives — by stuffing in his pants and
socks — several copies of some of the most highly guarded national security
documents held by the US government; shredding with scissors the aforementioned
"code-word" classified documents (for those unfamiliar with different
levels of classification, it doesn't get any higher than "code-word"
or "code-black" as it's known in the trade); and lying about the incident
to federal agents for about a year.
DOJ prosecutors allowed Berger to
plead to a misdemeanor despite having eyewitnesses to the FELONY.
The DOJ requested punishment was $10K, probation and a
loss of his security clearance for a few years. At sentencing, the
outraged judge upped the fine to $50,000. The judge could not impose a jail
sentence as the misdemeanor did not carry a potential jail sentence.
Had Berger been a Republican
appointee, what are the chances that he would have gotten off with such a light
tap on the wrist?