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1997 Congressional Hearings
Intelligence and Security

SEPTEMBER 11, 1997

Witness: Samuel ("Sandy") Berger
National Security Advisor to the President

  • In 1996, there were no formal procedures for vetting at the National Security Council to make sure that political contacts were limited

  • NSC staff member Nancy Soderberg rebuffed Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler in response to his efforts to have the NSC drop its opposition to a meeting between Roger Tamraz and White House officials

  • The NSC staff did not know that during 1993 to 1996 foreign visitors were entering the White House at the behest of the DNC without being vetted by the NSC

  • Sandy Berger, then-Deputy National Security Advisor to the President, did not know that the DNC could schedule events at the White House by itself and get foreign visitors into the White House without NSC approval

  • Berger was a participant in regularly scheduled, weekly campaign meetings at the White House with Clinton-Gore campaign staff during 1996

  • In October 1995, Berger met with Eric Hotung, a British citizen, who had his picture taken with Berger

  • Berger met with Hotung at the request of Doug Sosnik, White House political director, who made the request at the request of Don Fowler, and the staff briefing memo for Berger for the Hotung meeting mentioned the political dynamic behind the meeting

  • Less than 10 days after Hotung had his photo taken with Berger, his wife gave $100,000 to the DNC

  • The DNC had sought to arrange a meeting for another contributor with Berger, but that meeting did not occur

  • Berger saw no reason for there to have been any contact between DNC officials and the CIA, as in the case of Fowler's contact with CIA officials on behalf of Roger Tamraz

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