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GOP aides accused of computer breach

March 5, 2004 at 7:37 AM

WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) -- Republican staffers downloaded thousands of Democratic computer files over the past few years in a security breach, a Senate investigation indicates.

A report by Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle, the chamber's top law enforcement officer, identified two former GOP aides as primarily responsible for accessing and leaking computer memos on Democratic plans for blocking some of President George W. Bush's judicial nominations, the Washington Post reported Friday.

One of the suspects was the Republicans' top aide on judicial nomination strategy. Both men left their jobs during the investigation.

The report, based on a three-month investigation, pointed up serious flaws in the Senate computer security system and said several federal laws may have been broken.

The report identified the two former staffers as Jason Lundell, a nominations clerk who originally accessed the files, and Manuel Miranda, a more senior staff member and later the top aide to Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., on judicial nominations.

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