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Former FBI Agent Will Not Face Prosecution for Writing Clinton Book

Publishing: Gary Aldrich did not get necessary clearance for his tome.

May 26, 1997| From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A former FBI agent whose book suggested President Clinton evaded his security detail to have secret trysts will not be prosecuted by the Justice Department for going public without FBI clearance, a spokesman said Sunday.

"That's amazingly good news for myself and for my family," said retired agent Gary Aldrich on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press" after learning of the decision.

Aldrich faced criminal prosecution and the loss of all profits from his book, "Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House."

All Justice Department employees must be cleared to publish writings based on their work--a policy intended to protect national security secrets and confidential information.

The Justice Department made the decision not to file charges last week, spokesman Bill Brooks said. Brooks said legal issues of privacy prevented him from revealing why.

Aldrich, who worked for 30 years as an FBI agent, portrayed a White House pervaded by lax security and sexual immorality. Aldrich submitted the book for FBI perusal and said the agency refused to approve a small portion he and his publisher considered vital.

"We felt the FBI was not approving my book for political reasons," Aldrich said.

The potential Justice Department prosecution is just one of several adversities Aldrich has encountered since publishing last summer.

Many--including conservatives who normally relish accounts of a Clinton White House run amok--have questioned the work's credibility.

In his book, Aldrich noted his intense dislike of the Clintons and those around them and was offended by women wearing tight skirts and men with earrings.

Aldrich has admitted that some of the more inflammatory material was taken from secondhand sources--including the allegation that Clinton would routinely sneak past his Secret Service guards for clandestine love affairs at a downtown Marriott hotel.

Last week, that alleged tidbit drew controversy again after New Yorker magazine quoted Aldrich as saying, "The Marriott thing was not quite solid. It was hypothetical."

Aldrich said he was "totally misquoted" in the article, claiming that he never used the word "hypothetical" in his phone interview with reporter Jane Mayer.

"This is a compilation of allegations which were made over time about the Clinton administration," Aldrich said.

"It's not a mock investigation," the former agent added. "It's the real thing."

Mayer, who appeared later on the "Meet the Press" program, insisted that her reporting was completely accurate.

"He said every single word exactly as it appears in the magazine," Mayer said.

"I guess Mr. Aldrich must have had second thoughts when he realized that basically what he was admitting was that the most sensational allegation in his book was a fraud," she said.

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