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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 29, 2000
                        STATEMENT BY BETH NOLAN
                        COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT

     In 1975, then-Assistant Attorney General and current Supreme Court

Justice Antonin Scalia recognized that the Privacy Act does not cover the entire Executive Office of the President. In every Administration since, Republican and Democratic alike, the Justice Department has consistently adhered to the view that the White House Office is not subject to the Privacy Act. Judge Lamberth's opinion is inconsistent with that precedent.

In 1997, after Judge Lamberth ruled that the White House Office was subject to the Privacy Act, the White House sought the opinion of the Justice Department, and was advised that the White House Office is not required to "alter their practices regarding the acquisition, maintenance and dissemination of information about individuals..."

The actions of the President and his staff were fully consistent with the law and the Justice Department's advice. In light of these facts and the law, we strongly disagree with Judge Lamberth's opinion and are confident it will be overturned on appeal.