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COUNSEL DEFENDS RESTRICTING ACCESS TO FOSTER OFFICE

SHARE COUNSEL DEFENDS RESTRICTING ACCESS TO FOSTER OFFICE

Confronting his critics at Senate Whitewater hearings, former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum testified Wednesday that it was "my ethical duty" to restrict police access to Vincent Foster's documents.

"There was nothing improper in the way White House officials handled documents in Vince Foster's office following his death," Nussbaum flatly told the committee, where previous witnesses have challenged his actions.Nussbaum said he was obligated to protect the executive privilege and client confidentiality of the documents in Foster's office. No documents, he said, were ever destroyed.

"It was my ethical duty as a lawyer and as White House counsel to protect a client's information and confidences and not to disclose them without a prior review by me," he testified.

Disputing Republicans' suggestions that he was trying to hide from police issues related to Whitewater, Nussbaum said the real estate venture had "absolutely nothing to do" with his decision.