- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 29, 2000

A prosecutor hired by the Justice Department will recommend that criminal charges be sought against former CIA Director John Deutch for suspected misuse of secret intelligence documents on his home computer.
Justice Department lawyers yesterday confirmed that prosecutor Paul Coffey, a veteran organized crime prosecutor pulled out of retirement by Attorney General Janet Reno to conduct the Deutch inquiry, has told colleagues that charges in the case are warranted.
A written recommendation is expected to be sent shortly to Miss Reno, who has the final say on whether charges will be sought in the case. Justice Department spokeswoman Chris Watney yesterday declined comment on the probe.
The Justice Department began a preliminary review of Mr. Deutch's suspected misuse of highly classified intelligence and defense documents on his unprotected home computers in February.
Miss Reno said at the time the department was "reviewing the whole matter, to see whether there is any basis for further action."
The review was ordered in the wake of a Senate investigation and new information about Mr. Deutch's receipt of the classified documents.
In April 1999, the Justice Department investigated the suspected document misuse, which occurred in 1995, but declined to prosecute Mr. Deutch for criminal wrongdoing.
At the time, department lawyers questioned the misuse of the files but concluded there was no basis for a criminal prosecution.
The CIA concluded in July 1999 that the intelligence and defense documents Mr. Deutch downloaded on his personal computers were highly vulnerable to theft by foreign intelligence agents who could have broken into his homes in Bethesda, Md., and Boston and copied the information.
But the agency said in a report that there was no clear evidence the documents had been compromised, although it concluded Mr. Deutch knew he was risking national security by placing highly sensitive information on the unclassified computers and did nothing to prevent it.
The report described the information Mr. Deutch downloaded as relating to "covert action, top secret communications intelligence and the National Reconnaissance Program budget."
It said that "high-risk Internet sites" had placed "cookies" on the hard drive of Mr. Deutch's home computer. "Cookies" refers to software that lets remote computers obtain personal information from systems connected to the Internet.
Mr. Deutch, who left the CIA in December 1996, refused 24-hour CIA security guards at his homes because of "privacy concerns." He also let a resident alien domestic servant with no security clearance enter his Bethesda residence when he was not home.
Now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he appeared before a closed session of the Senate intelligence panel in February to answer questions on the document misuse.
He told reporters after a two-hour session with the committee that "I very much regret my error."
"At no time did I intend to violate security rules," Mr. Deutch said. "The director of Central Intelligence is not above the rules."

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