"Berger Case Still Roils Archives, Justice Dept." [news story, Feb. 21] presented a distorted picture of the Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger matter and the Justice Department investigation.

As Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Hertling explained in a detailed five-page letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) that was described in the article, the career prosecutors and FBI agents could not have been more careful or thorough in their investigation. Simply put, as the article should have made clearer, the Justice Department said, "[n]ot the Department, the FBI, or the Archives IG [inspector general] has found any evidence that Mr. Berger took any documents other than the five referenced in the plea agreement."

The public innuendo and speculation from the committee's minority staff and the inspector general of the National Archives and Records Administration to the contrary are irresponsible and unfairly tar not only Mr. Berger but also the professional prosecutors and investigators of the Justice Department and the FBI. I would not pretend to know the motivations of the minority staff or the inspector general, but it is time that they give this matter a rest and let all involved move on with their lives.



The writer is counsel to Samuel R. Berger.