Complicity

Jane Harper

Rating: PG-13/TV-14 

Synopsis: Sarah's past comes back to haunt her; Mallory pays her dad back; Leo gets a new "guy"; and the West Wing is haunted by leprechauns. 

Archive: Be my guest but please let me know. HTML version available upon request. 

Disclaimer: I'm just a stowaway on the USS Sorkin; please don't throw me overboard. Sarah can't swim.

 

Part 2

CJ rapped on Leo's office door.

"Come in!"

The stuffed leprechaun was sitting in the corner of the sofa. CJ stopped briefly, then bit her lip.

"I'm_ over _here_, CJ," Leo said from behind his desk.

"Well you have to admit it's a great likeness. Where did it come from?"

"I have my suspicions."

"You wanted to see me before the gaggle?"

"Yeah." He stood up and handed CJ the fax he'd received on the way in.

"They'll be asking me about the arms deal, Leo. Is this going to torpedo it?"

"I wouldn't be surprised," he answered. "But at the moment we have no comment. Just say we're talking to their government."

"OK." The Press Secretary headed for her morning briefing.

* * * * *

"Mr. Vice President," Sarah said, "I don't understand why anybody cares about something I did thirty years ago that had absolutely no significance for anybody but me."

"Ms. Cooper," Thompson said, "You don't seem to understand. This isn't about you. You're right, nobody gives a damn about what you may or may not have signed or whether or not you broke the law -- which, by the way, you did, and you could have gone to Federal prison for five years for."

"I knew that at the time," she responded. "I haven't forgotten it since. That was the point. Women didn't have draft cards to burn, so if we wanted to put ourselves at personal risk for a principle, we had to go out of our way to get the Government's attention."

"Whatever," the Vice President's Chief of Staff continued. "This isn't about you. This is about the Vice President and his judgement, about the kind of people he has working for him, about how he's going to look six years from now when his turn comes."

Sarah's jaw clenched. "In other words, if I understand correctly, there are three options on the table. One, I get fired for something that happened thirty years ago. Two, I resign, as if I had done something wrong. Three, and with all due respect, sir..." - she turned toward the man in front of her - "the Vice President decides he has the intestinal fortitude to tell anyone who asks that that was then, and this is now, and what's important is my work."

"Which is excellent, Sarah, and you know I think so," Hoynes interrupted. "Let's all take a deep breath and think."

"Mr. Vice President, wasn't this information in my FBI file?"

"Mark?" He turned to his Press Secretary.

"No, sir, it wasn't."

"It should have been," Sarah responded. "I know there was a clearance check right around the time I went to work for the First Lady."

"But they don't usually bother to clear her staff-" Thompson remarked.

"You're right, Elaine," the Vice President added. "They don't. ..."

* * * * *

"Josh?" Donna called to her boss. "Turn on CNN!"

He reached over and grabbed the remote. The announcer's voice had a ring of concern. "... about an hour ago, when IDF forces cleared the area around the Western Wall and closed the Temple Mount. A spokesperson for the Israeli Prime Minister said that this was a temporary measure so that the area could be swept for incendiary devices. Hezbullah threatened an incident in the area after word was leaked to the media of the largest arms deal ever struck between the White House and the Israeli government... ."

* * * * *

Leo was on the phone chastising the CIA Director. "Why the hell didn't we know about this sooner?"

"There was no hint, Leo," he responded. "I think Sharon just had a temper tantrum and decided enough was enough."

"Are we on the phone with their people?"

"Yes."

"OK," Leo said. "I suspect the President is going to want to talk to the Prime Minister." He hung up the phone and opened the connecting door to the Oval Office.

* * * * *

"Josh," Donna asked casually, "what would happen if somebody here had done something illegal, a long time ago, that nobody knew about."

"Probably, they'd get to clean out their desk and be escorted off the grounds. Why, do you have a deep dark past I should know about?"

"No, but Sarah Cooper does."

"What?" Josh put down the sheaf of papers he'd been looking through.

"What's a complicity statement?" Donna asked.

Josh got up and took Donna by the elbow, leading her through the bullpen toward the other side of the building. "We're gonna go find Sam, so you only have to explain this once."

Seaborn was standing over his assistant's desk looking for something. "Sam?" Josh said.

"Yeah?"

"Can we go in your office?"

The three of them walked into the immaculate room; Josh closed the door behind them and turned to Donna. "OK, what's this about a complicity statement."

"You didn't tell me what that is yet," she responded, crossing her arms over her chest.

Sam pulled the chair out from behind his desk and sat down. "It's an admission that somebody helped somebody else break the law."

"OK," she went on. "Evidently Sarah Cooper signed a complicity statement saying that she helped people avoid the Selective Service Act."

Josh sat down in the chair across from Sam's desk. "She helped guys avoid the draft."

"There hasn't been an active draft in what, 20 years?" Seaborn said. "In any case, the statute of limitations is long past, so she's in the clear."

"Think, Sam," Josh replied. "The sitting Vice President, who would give his left- the heir apparent of this administration - has hired a woman who aided and abetted draft dodgers to help him work with the Veteran's Administration! What's wrong with this picture?"

"Oboy," Sam said.

Donna looked confused. "But why do we care if the Vice President looks stupid?"

"A couple of reasons," Josh responded. "First of all, _we_ hired him. Second... it's _Sarah_. We all would have been bouncing off walls after Rosslyn if she hadn't been here... . Sam, she's gonna need a lawyer."

Sam picked up his phone and punched in a number. "Hey, Mom--"

* * * * *

 

Complicity - 3

 

 

Home        What's New        Author Listings        Title Listings