DOCUMENT: Celebrity, College, Drunk

Another Bush Booze Tale

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Barbara Bush Harvard Incident Log

Barbara Bush Chuy's Plea

Barbara Bush Fake ID

Fourteen months before underage booze antics made headlines, Barbara Bush, then 18, was questioned by Massachusetts cops responding to a manager's complaint that a raucous February 2000 party at a hotel on Harvard Square involved "several minors in a room consuming alcohol," The Smoking Gun has learned.

According to a Harvard University Police Department log, the manager of the university-owned The Inn at Harvard called cops on February 19 at 11:18 PM complaining about the booze blast. The log notes that, "Officers sent to assist him in removing them." Cops prepared an incident report detailing what happened upon their arrival, but Harvard refused last week to release the document following a TSG request,contending that the Massachusetts Open Records Law does not apply to the school's police force.

But we've been able to piece together this account of the incident through interviews and information from the Harvard police log:

While her father was gearing up for a Super Tuesday(March 7) showdown with John McCain, Barbara Bush spent her President's Day weekend in Cambridge, Massachusetts visiting Harvard University. Along with Yale and Stanford, the teenager had been accepted at Harvard, where she visited that holiday weekend in preparation for making her college pick. The teenager stayed in the dorm room of Harvard freshman Tabitha George, who Bush knew from Austin, Texas.

The president's daughter crossed paths that weekend with Harvard cops responding to the Saturday night call about underage drinking at The Inn at Harvard, where rooms rent for an average of about $200 and visiting dignitaries are more common that rowdy beer blasts. As in Texas, you must be 21 to drink in Massachusetts.

Aware that police had been summoned to the hotel, young party goers fled the room. When officers arrived, they questioned a small group of young people outside the inn--all of whom they suspected had attended the truncated bash. Cops were directed to the group, which included Barbara Bush, either by the hotel's manager or by one of the room's occupants, who had been detained (accounts provided to TSG slightly differed on this point). No arrests were made after police questioned and sought identification from about five individuals.

TSG calls to the Harvard police were referred to school spokesman Joseph Wrinn, who said, "We don' t comment on the specifics in regards to incidents involving the Harvard University Police Department."George also refused to answer any questions, saying she did not comment "about the Bushes."

The Smoking Gun spoke to George last October,shortly after we first heard about the underage hotel bash. A Harvard source provided us with the outline of the story--Barbara Bush's alleged involvement, the party date, that the bash occurred in a Cambridge hotel--and we went in search of documents to confirm the account. TSG first reviewed logs maintained by the Cambridge Police Department, but located no record remotely matching the details we had.

Then we contacted Peggy McNamara, spokesperson for the Harvard University Police Department, and asked her to check police logs for February 19, 2000. We told her we were looking for an incident late that evening involving underage drinking at a Cambridge hotel. McNamara called back to say that nothing in the department's records matched our information. TSG then put the story on the back burner.

We revisited the Harvard tip last week in light of Bush's no contest plea for the Chuy's bust and the disclosure that Barbara, a Yale freshman, had a phony ID confiscated in October when she tried to use it at a New Haven bar. This time, when we called the Harvard cops they turned over (on June 8) log pages recording the hotel party involving "several minors." We're waiting to hear how they overlooked the entry when we first asked about it in October 2000.

As it turned out, TSG wasn't the only outfit interested in Bush booze leads. A Harvard Crimson reporter, Parker Conrad, had pursued the story, which appeared headed for the student newspaper. But while publication was supported by many at the Crimson--including some of the paper's top executives--Conrad's story was eventually shelved by the daily's managing editor on the grounds that Bush was a private figure.

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Comments (1)

And nobody makes a peep about Obama's pot and cocaine use he admitted to before the 2008 election.