George Tenet lawyers up

George Tenet has engaged counsel to represent him in the investigation of the destruction of the CIA's interrogation tapes of top Al Qaeda figures. According to Newsweek, he's engaged Howard M. Shapiro.

If Mr. Shapiro's name rings a bell, it should. He was criticized for his role in Clinton's filegate scandal. Neil Lewis of the New York Times wrote in 1997:
Mr. Shapiro became the focus of criticism for several reasons. He is both a close associate of Louis J. Freeh, the F.B.I. Director, and he was at the center of the bureau's internal investigation of the improper transfer to the White House of more than 900 confidential background files in 1993, many of them on prominent Republicans.

The files were provided to the White House at the request of Craig M. Livingstone, who headed the White House security office even though he was a political campaign operative without any law-enforcement experience.

Mr. Clinton has insisted that the acquisition of the files was an innocent if sizable mistake while Republicans expressed suspicion that it was part of an effort to collect intelligence on political rivals. The issue of the files remains a mystery, and the White House has not yet said who hired Mr. Livingstone for such a sensitive post.

Last year, House Republicans called on Mr. Freeh to dismiss Mr. Shapiro for some of the steps he had taken while trying to determine how the confidential files came to be sent to the White House. Republicans eventually acceded to a plan by the Justice Department to have its internal watchdog unit evaluate Mr. Shapiro's actions.

In its report today, the Justice Department's investigative unit said that although Mr. Shapiro had not engaged in any professional misconduct, some of his actions had ''exacerbated a political problem by contributing to the appearance that the F.B.I., and particularly Shapiro, was not sufficiently independent of the White House.''

He had also taken it upon himself to send over to the White House the book manuscript of former FBI agent Gary Aldrich, which had been critical of Clinton.
George Tenet has engaged counsel to represent him in the investigation of the destruction of the CIA's interrogation tapes of top Al Qaeda figures. According to Newsweek, he's engaged Howard M. Shapiro.

If Mr. Shapiro's name rings a bell, it should. He was criticized for his role in Clinton's filegate scandal. Neil Lewis of the New York Times wrote in 1997:
Mr. Shapiro became the focus of criticism for several reasons. He is both a close associate of Louis J. Freeh, the F.B.I. Director, and he was at the center of the bureau's internal investigation of the improper transfer to the White House of more than 900 confidential background files in 1993, many of them on prominent Republicans.

The files were provided to the White House at the request of Craig M. Livingstone, who headed the White House security office even though he was a political campaign operative without any law-enforcement experience.

Mr. Clinton has insisted that the acquisition of the files was an innocent if sizable mistake while Republicans expressed suspicion that it was part of an effort to collect intelligence on political rivals. The issue of the files remains a mystery, and the White House has not yet said who hired Mr. Livingstone for such a sensitive post.

Last year, House Republicans called on Mr. Freeh to dismiss Mr. Shapiro for some of the steps he had taken while trying to determine how the confidential files came to be sent to the White House. Republicans eventually acceded to a plan by the Justice Department to have its internal watchdog unit evaluate Mr. Shapiro's actions.

In its report today, the Justice Department's investigative unit said that although Mr. Shapiro had not engaged in any professional misconduct, some of his actions had ''exacerbated a political problem by contributing to the appearance that the F.B.I., and particularly Shapiro, was not sufficiently independent of the White House.''

He had also taken it upon himself to send over to the White House the book manuscript of former FBI agent Gary Aldrich, which had been critical of Clinton.