Burton Sends Criminal Referral on White House Staffer

July 7, 2008 - 8:25 PM

(CNSNews.com) - House Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) is sending a criminal referral to the Justice Department on a White House computer specialist for allegedly committing perjury in a civil lawsuit.

White House computer specialist Daniel A. Barry testified at the Government Reform Committee hearing on the missing White House e-mails on March 23, 2000.

According to Burton, Barry appears to have given false testimony regarding the White House e-mail system in a sworn affidavit prepared by White House lawyers and submitted to United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth in the Filegate case.

In a letter to Lamberth Wednesday, Burton said that Barry's sworn affidavit before the court contradicted the established facts of the case. However, Burton expressed concern that the fraudulent affidavit was prepared by lawyers from the Justice Department and the White House.

"I am concerned that the lawyers who assisted Mr. Barry in the preparation of his affidavit, and who counseled him at the time the affidavit was signed, were aware that the information was misleading," Burton wrote.

"I am also concerned that the lawyers in the White House Counsel's office were also involved in this deception. In short, it may well be that the Justice Department and White House attorneys were involved in a conspiracy to commit fraud upon your court."

The Government Reform Committee has been investigating the matter of the missing White House e-mails and held a hearing on March 23rd.

White House Counsel Beth Nolan and Assistant Attorney General Robert Raben are set to testify before the Committee Thursday morning.

On Monday, Burton called on Attorney General Janet Reno to appoint a "special counsel" to investigate obstruction of justice charges against the White House regarding the missing White House e-mails.

In his letter to the Attorney General, Burton noted that Reno is "incapable of conducting a legitimate investigation of the White House."

Burton also cited what he believes to be common perceptions that Reno is incapable of doing her job and is "predisposed to provide unfair advantages" to her political colleagues in matters involving the campaign finance scandal.

"(Y)ou cannot use the Campaign Financing Task Force, supervised by yourself, to investigate yourself and the Justice Department lawyers who helped keep the e-mails from being produced to Congress, Independent Counsels, and your own Campaign Financing Task Force," Burton's letter to Reno read.

"It is important that the Department of Justice remove itself entirely from this investigation and appoint an outside counsel. The individual chosen should be completely independent, should have no current ties to the Justice Department, and should be seen by the American people as fair and impartial."

More than 100,000 White House e-mail messages concerning Clinton-Gore campaign finance abuses, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Filegate and Chinagate were never turned over, despite subpoenas from at least three congressional committees and a federal grand jury.

A computer glitch supposedly prevented the e-mails from showing up during a White House computer search, but later, when the Northrop Grumman contractors discovered the problem, they were allegedly told by White House higher-ups they would go to jail if they told anyone else about it.

Allegations of jail threats surfaced around the same time as the Office of Independent Counsel announced its conclusions that no prosecutions are warranted in the FBI files matter (commonly known as Filegate), nor in the matter concerning whether former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum testified falsely before the House Government Reform Committee.

The e-mails in question involved some 500 White House computers which, when printed, amount to nearly 1,500 pages, a source close to the investigation told CNSNews.com.

The missing e-mails, once discovered by the Northrop Grumman contractors, were reportedly referred to by senior administration officials as "Project X" and were re-labeled as classified documents.