WASHINGTON – Sandy Berger, who served as national security adviser during the Clinton administration, has given up his license to practice law in the District of Columbia, two years after admitting he illegally sneaked classified documents out of the National Archives.
Berger, now an international business consultant, said in a statement last month that he "decided to voluntarily relinquish my license" as a result of pleading guilty to unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, a misdemeanor.
"I realized then that my law license would be affected," Berger said in the statement, obtained Thursday and issued through his lawyer, Lanny Breuer.
"While I derived great satisfaction from years of practicing law, I have not done so for 15 years and do not envision returning to the profession," Berger said. He added: "I am very sorry for what I did, and deeply apologize."
In April 2005, Berger admitted destroying some of the documents and then lying about it. He called his actions a lapse of judgment that came while he was preparing to testify before the Sept. 11 commission. The documents he took contained information on terror threats in the United States during the 2000 millennium celebration.
Berger had only copies of documents; all the originals remain in the government's possession. A report by the archives inspector general said that Berger acknowledged hiding some of them at a construction site near the archives building in Washington.