Samuel Richard "Sandy" Berger was United States National Security Advisor, under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001. In his position, he helped to formulate the foreign policy of the Clinton Administration. During this time he advised the President regarding the Khobar Towers bombing, Operation Desert Fox, the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, responses to the terrorist bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the administration's policy of engagement with the People's Republic of China. He was also one of the prominent actors of the Camp David 2000 Summit.
On July 19, 2004, it was revealed that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating Berger for unauthorized removal of classified documents in October 2003 from a National Archives reading room prior to testifying before the 9/11 Commission. The documents were five classified copies of a single report commissioned from Richard Clarke covering internal assessments of the Clinton Administration's handling of the unsuccessful 2000 millennium attack plots. An associate of Berger said Berger took one copy in September 2003 and four copies in October 2003. Berger subsequently lied to investigators when questioned about the removal of the documents.
Berger pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material on April 1, 2005. Berger was fined $50,000, sentenced to serve two years of probation and 100 hours of community service, and stripped of his security clearance for 3 years. The Justice Department initially said Berger stole only copies of classified documents and not originals. But the House Government Reform Committee later revealed that an unsupervised Berger had been given access to classified files of original, uncopied, uninventoried documents on terrorism. During the House Government Reform Committee hearings, it was acknowledged, by Nancy Kegan Smith, that she granted Berger access to original materials in her office.