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A New Watergate? GOP Members of Senate Judiciary Break Into Democrats Computer System

January 23, 2004
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Republican staff members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee infiltrated Democratic computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media. We speak with the Boston Globe reporter who broke the story.

An explosive article in the Boston Globe Thursday begins:

“Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media, Senate officials told The Globe.

“From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial nominees Democrats would fight — and with what tactics.

"The office of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle has already launched an investigation into how excerpts from 15 Democratic memos showed up in the pages of the conservative-leaning newspapers and were posted to a website last November."

  • Charlie Savage, Washington correspondent for the Boston Globe.

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