White House FBI Files Controversy

The White House FBI files controversy of the Clinton Administration, often referred to as Filegate, arose in June 1996 around improper access in 1993 and 1994 to Federal Bureau of Investigation security-clearance documents. Craig Livingstone, director of the White House's Office of Personnel Security, improperly requested, and received from the FBI, background reports concerning several hundred individuals without asking permission. The revelations provoked a strong political and press reaction because many of the files covered White House employees from previous Republican administrations, including top presidential advisors. Under criticism, Livingstone resigned from his position. Allegations were made that senior White House figures, including First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, may have requested and read the files for political purposes, and that the First Lady had authorized the hiring of the underqualified Livingstone.

The matter was investigated by the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Whitewater Independent Counsel. In 1998, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr exonerated President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton of any involvement in the matter. In 2000 Independent Counsel Robert Ray issued his final report on Filegate, stating that there was no credible evidence of any criminal activity by any individual in the matter and no credible evidence that senior White House figures or the First Lady had requested the files or had acted improperly or testified improperly regarding Livingstone's hiring. A separate lawsuit on the matter brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, has lingered on for years and was dismissed by a federal judge in 2010.

Read more about White House FBI Files Controversy:  Improper Use of Files Issue, Who Hired Livingstone Issue, Official Findings, Judicial Watch Lawsuit

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White House FBI Files Controversy - Judicial Watch Lawsuit
... engaged in long-running litigation over the White House personnel file controversy ... along with Anthony Marceca and William Kennedy, obtained the files and then rifled through them ... White House defenders pointed out that Livingstone had a long history of exaggerating his importance and connections.) Judicial Watch also said they had five sources who ...

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