Richard S. Miller
Mr. Miller retired from a distinguished career spanning twenty-seven years in the United States Secret Service. During that period he served seventeen years in protection-related assignments and ten years in investigative assignments. He has the unique distinction of having directed the protection of two consecutive Presidents. He was the Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division for President George H. W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. His last post in the Secret Service was as Assistant Director for Protective Operations. In this position he was ultimately responsible for all protection-related functions, including the protection of the President and Vice President of the United States and their families; all former Presidents and their spouses; Presidential candidates; visiting heads of state; participants in the Atlanta Olympics; the physical security of the White House, foreign embassies and buildings and grounds occupied by Secret Service protectees.
In addition, as the Assistant Director he was charged with the direction of the 1000 officers of the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division. The Uniformed Division is responsible for securing the White House and other official residences, operating magnetometers at presidential functions and staffing various special operation units such as counter-snipers, canine and emergency response teams.
Mr. Miller is a graduate of Wofford College and the National Defense University Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Prior to joining the Secret Service, Mr. Miller was an officer in the U.S. Army, serving in combat in Vietnam. After his retirement he established The Miller Group, LLC, a private consulting company. The Miller Group provides consulting and security services to private individuals, corporations and the United States Government. The company has conducted in-depth security reviews and assessments and training for various international clients.
Following his career in the Secret Service, Mr. Miller also was employed as the assistant Vice President for International Security Operations for a major international insurance and health care firm. He was responsible for the security of corporate offices in twenty-eight countries, risk assessment and management, special investigations and executive protection for company officials.
Secret Service Official Disputes White House on How It Obtained Files
By DAVID JOHNSTON
Published: June 21, 1996
A top Secret Service official today sharply undercut the White House's explanation of how President Clinton's aides had improperly obtained confidential F.B.I. background reports on more than 400 former White House employees, some of them prominent Republicans.
With the White House account of its actions under attack, the separate issue of who will investigate the matter took a sudden turnabout today when Attorney General Janet Reno, under intense criticism by Republicans, asked the Whitewater independent counsel to take over the Federal Bureau of Investigation's inquiry into how Presidential aides obtained the reports.
Ms. Reno's decision came one day after she had given the case to the F.B.I. for a 90-day preliminary criminal inquiry after announcing that the Whitewater counsel, Kenneth W. Starr, had informed her that he lacked legal authority to fully investigate the file case.
A central issue for Mr. Starr's inquiry will be to determine how Presidential aides, who said they were trying to update their files, could have obtained the data used to get files of scores of former White House employees, including James A. Baker 3d, the former Secretary of State.
Today, at the Senate Judiciary Committee, Richard S. Miller, the Secret Service's assistant director for protective operations, directly disputed the White House assertion that Presidential aides had improperly obtained the files because their requests were based on an outdated Secret Service list of people with access to the White House.
Mr. Miller called his agency's computerized system of access to the White House, "complex and difficult to describe" but said a thorough review had found that the Secret Service simply could not have provided an outdated list of passholders to the Clinton White House.
He said the agency's computers did not generate such a personnel list.
"I have no idea where that list came from," Mr. Miller said.
Mr. Miller's testimony left White House aides expressing puzzlement. "Frankly, that has left all of us even more confused," said Michael D. McCurry, the White House press secretary.
At the Justice Department, Ms. Reno announced she was handing off the investigation to Mr. Starr in a terse statement. She said she would ask a special panel of three Federal appellate judges to expand Mr. Starr's jurisdiction to enable him to investigate the file case, a step that many Justice Department officials said she should have taken on Tuesday.
"I have concluded that it would constitute a conflict of interest for the Department of Justice itself to investigate a matter involving an interaction between the White House and the F.B.I., a component of the Department of Justice."
Ms. Reno's reversal suggested the anxiety felt in her Department and the F.B.I. since the disclosure two weeks ago that the White House had gotten the background files of former White House employees.
Some Justice Department officials said Ms. Reno had changed course because of the outcry in Congress, and more muffled protest by senior officials in her agency and the F.B.I., all of it questioning whether the the F.B.I. would be perceived as violating its impartiality by being involved in the case.
The officials said that after Mr. Starr advised Ms. Reno on Monday that his jurisdiction did not extend to the inquiry into the files, Ms. Reno had decided to entrust the investigation to Howard Shapiro, the F.B.I.'s general counsel. Mr. Shapiro a close associate of F.B.I. Director Louis J. Freeh, had handled the agency's review of its role in the matter.
Ms. Reno, the officials said, had concluded that Mr. Shapiro would be a logical choice to complete the next step of the inquiry: the White House's role.
They said she had not gauged that, in a case in which Mr. Freeh had said there had been "egregious violations of privacy" and that the F.B.I. had been "victimized" by the White House in the process, an investigation by the F.B.I. would be perceived as a conflict of interest.
Today, in his testimony to the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Shapiro said that the F.B.I. had carefully secured the files when they were returned from the White House for scientific examination. "We have preserved evidence for possible forensic examination," Mr. Shapiro said. "We have handled the evidence so that it could be examined for fingerprints."
He said that when the files were returned to the F.B.I some contained slips of papers as placeholders for reports which were apparently "charged out" to various officials -- all of them in the White House personnel security office.
In his often-detailed testimony, Mr. Miller said the Secret Service maintained a master computer file, or "E-Pass," which stands for the Electronic Pass and Security System. "We know of no flaws to our system known as E-Pass that would have generated an outdated list," he told the committee.
Mr. Miller described E-Pass as a list of about 24,000 current and former passholders in the White House that is updated daily. Former passholders remain on the list for eight years after they have turned in their passes. He said that on printouts of the list which are provided to the White House security office at least once a month each name is accompanied by the letter "I" or "A" to indicate whether that person is an active or inactive passholder.
Despite Mr. Miller's seemingly unequivocal statement that Secret Service could not have been responsible for the improper requisition of F.B.I. files, the E-Pass system he described included names of many Reagan and Bush Administration officials, since it went back eight years.
According to the account given by Mr. Miller, many names of the prominent Republicans whose files were improperly sought would have been present on the E-Pass master list, although marked with an "I" for inactive.
Mr. Miller also testified that Craig Livingstone, who was head of the personnel security office in the White House, was given a thorough briefing about the E-Pass lists and was explicitly instructed on the meaning of the "A" and "I" notations.
But the White House has asserted that that Mr. Livingstone was unaware of the details of how the files were requisitioned by Anthony Marceca, a civilian Army employee and longtime Democratic activist detailed to the White House.
Mr. Marceca has yet to say publicly exactly what lists he used, how he obtained the lists and what procedures he employed.
Some Republican Senators today charged that other evidence provided by Secret Service officials demonstrates that someone sympathetic to the White House may have forged a Secret Service computer list to cover up what happened.
Earlier this week, sources trying to support the White House version of events provided a computer printout that appeared to show that the Secret Service listed several prominent Republicans including James Baker as late as Feb. 16, 1994.
Senator Christopher S. Bond, a Missouri Republican, produced a letter from Secret Service officials that said the document circulated to reporters earlier this week had not been produced by them.
Mr. Bond said that someone had to create the document which he described as a "deliberately contrived thing from the White House, a bad new effort at a coverup."