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President Bush Forgives a Staffer Caught in Plagiarism

In 2001 Tim Goeglein started running the White House Office of Public Liaison, providing him almost daily access to then President George Bush. All of that ended abruptly on February 29, 2008. A well-known blogger uncovered the startling facts behind some of Goeglein's published articles: 27 out of 39 of his written pieces had been plagiarized. When the facts came out, by mid-afternoon the next day, Goeglein's career in the White House was over.

"But I was guilty as charged," Goeglein admitted.

For Goeglein, this began "a personal crisis unequaled in my life, bringing great humiliation on my wife and children, my family, and my closest friends, including the President of the United States."

Although Goeglein was devastated, what happened next was an example of God's providence and mercy. Goeglein was summoned to the White House to face the President. Once inside the Oval Office, Goeglein shut the door, turned to the President and said, "I owe you an … "

President Bush simply said: "Tim, you are forgiven."

Tim was speechless. He tried again: "But sir … "

The President interrupted him again, with a firm "Stop." Then President Bush added, "I have known grace and mercy in my life, and you are forgiven."

After a long talk, a healing process was launched for Goeglein, which included repentance, reflection, and spiritual growth. "Political power can lead to pride," Goeglein concluded. "That was my sin. One hundred percent pride. But offering and receiving forgiveness is a different kind of strength. That's the kind of strength I want to develop now."

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