THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY JACK QUINN, COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT
We have today put in place a series of reforms governing the way in which the White House requests background information from the FBI.
These reforms include a provision requiring that a current consent form signed by the individual who is the subject of the background check be provided to the FBI before background information can be released to the White House. These reforms will impose rigorous procedures to protect both the privacy of individuals and the integrity of this process.
In arriving at these reforms, my office communicated our intentions to the FBI Counsel's Office to ensure that our efforts would work well with any changes being contemplated by the FBI. We have been told by the FBI that they believe our reforms, along with reforms they will be announcing today, will operate together effectively.
June 14, 1996
MEMORANDUM FOR LEON PANETTA
CHIEF OF STAFF
FROM: JACK QUINN COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT SUBJECT: WHITE HOUSE REQUESTS TO THE FBI
As you know, the White House has historically requested information from the FBI in order to evaluate the suitability of persons for Presidential appointments, nominations and recognition, employment at the White House, and access to the White House. In light of recent events, I have instituted the following rules and procedures to cover White House requests to the FBI for background investigation information, effective immediately:
beyond the type of computerized criminal history check required in the regular appointment clearance process at the White House complex.
Specifically, it must have been signed by the individual within thirty days of the White House request to the FBI.
the request made by the White House to the FBI for the information.
the Counsel to the President or a specifically designated Counsel's Office attorney whose regular duties include the review of such information. Each request must also be signed by the security or vetting officer who initiates the request.
request must certify that the request is made for official purposes only.
information is being requested (e.g., Presidential nomination, White House staff security clearance).
We communicated these changes, in proposed form, to the relevant officials of the FBI in order to make sure that our procedural reforms will be workable when taken together with changes the FBI is considering. These reforms were acceptable to the FBI and, so, we are now moving forward with them. In addition, I am requesting that the FBI assist us as promptly as possible in a thorough review of the background investigation files that we currently have to make sure that all of the files that were requested mistakenly have been returned to the FBI.