Report: Deutch May Plead Guilty
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former CIA Director John M. Deutch is considering a deal with the Justice Department in which he would plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of keeping classified data on his home computers, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Pleading guilty to the one-count misdemeanor plea would enable Deutch to avoid prison time and would eliminate the threat of a criminal indictment on felony charges. Deutch is under pressure to cut a deal, uncertain whether a new attorney general will decide to pursue the matter further, the Post said.
Attorney General Janet Reno had wanted to resolve the case before she left office Thursday, but her interim successor, Eric Holder, has assumed responsibility for overseeing its resolution, the Post said, quoting uidentified sources familiar with Deutch’s talks with Justice officials.
The Justice Department initially declined to prosecute Deutch last year after CIA security officials discovered he had written and stored highly classified intelligence reports on home computers linked to the Internet. Deutch has publicly apologized for his behavior, which was discovered as he was leaving office in December 1996 after 1 1/2 years in as CIA director.
Reno sought a review of the case after a leaked CIA inspector general’s report caused congressional criticism. Prosecutor Paul Coffey concluded that criminal charges should be filed.
Before becoming CIA director, Deutch was a top Pentagon official and later deputy secretary of defense. He is now a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.