Title: 17 People
Aired: April 4, 2001
Written by: Aaron Sorkin
Directed by: Alex Graves
After a foreign terrorist is caught at the border with explosives, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) ponders the impact of ordering a heightened security alert for the nation's airports. Toby (Richard Schiff) is shocked to uncover the President's secret affliction with multiple sclerosis -- and he details its political and legal ramifications in an intense discussion with Bartlet and Leo (John Spenser).
In other White House corridors, Sam (Rob Lowe) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) try to punch up an upcoming presidential speech with snappy one-liners while Josh jousts with Donna (Janel Moloney) over many contentious subjects, including the exact start date of her employment. In addition, Sam and Ainsley Hayes (Emily Procter) fuss over the 14th Amendment and equal rights for women.
Toby Ziegler: The Vice President's authority was murky at best. The National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State didn't know who they were taking their orders from. I wasn't in the situation room that night but I'll bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that it was Leo, who no one elected! For 90 minutes that night there was a coup d'etat in this country.