Documents are Handed Over to House in FBI Files ProbeBy Robert L. Jackson and Ronald J. Ostrow
Los Angeles Times
Attorneys for Anthony Marceca, a central figure in the White House-FBI files controversy, submitted a sheaf of his memos and work papers to House investigators Tuesday in an effort to show there was "nothing clandestine or criminal" about his obtaining FBI background reports on hundreds of persons, most of them employees of past Republican administrations.
Marceca, a former Democratic political campaign operative, is due to testify Wednesday before the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. D. Craig Livingstone, who directed Marceca's work as head of the White House office of personnel security, also will be questioned under oath.
But committee chairman William F. Clinger Jr., R-Pa., said information in Marceca's papers only adds to the controversy. The documents show that Marceca sought confidential background reports on Brent Scowcroft, President Bush's national security adviser, and at least one other National Security Council staff member.
"The disclosure that Mr. Marceca requested additional FBI files of former National Security Council staff members also serves to reinforce the concern that all Americans should feel about this incredible breach of security," Clinger said.
Marceca was described as "a plodding bureaucrat" by his attorney, Robert F. Muse, who said his work papers "utterly belie any notion of corruption or wrongdoing."
Marceca and Livingstone are the subjects of House and Senate investigations into the FBI files case, and they also figure in a criminal investigation begun last week by Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr.
About 200 pages of work papers Muse submitted to the House committee show that Marceca made no effort to keep his project secret. As part of what he said was an effort to update security clearances for holdover employees working for the Clinton administration, Marceca sought the help of other federal agencies, according to the documents.
"Please review this list of current and former employees and advise this office of their current status with the White House," Marceca wrote in late 1993 to William M. Cobbs, the General Services Administration building manager for the White House.
"If they have left the White House," the letter continued, "it would be very helpful if you would provide the date of separation."
Muse's description of Marceca as "a plodding bureaucrat" contrasted with the 1993 assessment of him by David C. Allen, Marceca's supervisor at the Pentagon, who supported his being detailed to the White House.
In a letter to then-associate White House counsel William H. Kennedy III, who requested Marceca's assignment, Allen described him as "a sound and logical thinker, capable of handling any number of critical and sensitive missions at one time ... Mr. Marceca is always the master of every situation. His professional competence, can-do attitude and attention to detail have contributed to the smooth functioning and efficiency of the major procurement fraud unit ..."
Kennedy, who was reprimanded in 1993 for improperly arranging to have the FBI issue a news release saying it was conducting a criminal investigation of the travel office firings, also will testify before the House panel Wednesday.
But unlike Livingstone and Marceca, who are appearing voluntarily, Kennedy and former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum have been subpoenaed to answer the panel's questions.
White House officials, in apologizing for the work of Marceca and Livingstone, said they improperly but accidentally obtained 407 FBI background reports on mostly Republican officials and employees who no longer worked for the government.
Some critics have been skeptical of this explanation because Marceca's list contained the names of such well-known Republicans as James A. Baker III, the former secretary of state, and Marlin Fitzwater, the former White House press secretary.