BARTLET'S OVERSIGHT ABOUT HIS MEDICAL CONDITION COULD CRUSH HIS PRESIDENCY; OLIVER PLATT GUEST-STARS -- The President's (Martin Sheen) vaunted administration could be brought down by the tiniest oversight as Bartlet secretly summons chief counsel Babish (guest star Oliver Platt, "Bulworth) to discuss how his failure to divulge his multiple sclerosis condition could be a criminal violation of full disclosure -- which would give his enemies enough ammo to destroy him. Meanwhile: a fuming Toby (Richard Schiff) orders C.J. (Allison Janney) to smoke out the insider who leaked vital information on the President's reversal on school vouchers; Sam (Rob Lowe) feels queasy when he learns that an aging oil tanker is leaking onto the coast of Delaware causing an ecological disaster -- and he could be liable since he brokered the deal for the behemoth in his previous shipping firm job while aware of the needed repairs; Josh (Bradley Whitford) clashes with a questioning Donna (Janel Moloney) as the U.S. prepares a huge cash loan to prop up the collapsing Mexican economy again.
Opening - Office of the White House Counsel
The new White House Counsel, Oliver Babish, is in his office in the White House. He is getting ready to leave for the day before going on a business trip the next day. While finishing up business, he notes that he needs a new recorder as it will not stop recording. A call comes in from Leo saying the President and Leo are on their way down to his office. Oliver turns around and walks back into his office.
Leo comes to get the President, who doesn't want to go to see Babish - but Leo makes him go. The two walk down to Babish's office and the President asks him to advise him on if he has broken any laws because of the MS. Babish looks at the recorder still on his desk and promptly destroys it.
Josh is in the office dealing with Mexico's economic collapse when Toby arrives. He is in a foul mood over a quote that appeared in the paper from an anonymous White House staffer. Josh goes into the Roosevelt Room to meet with the staff to find money to help bail out Mexico.
In the Press Room, C.J. is deflecting questions about the quote that has Toby in a mood -- a senior White House Official is quoted saying the President is willing to compromise on school vouchers. C.J. moves on to relate the story of an oil tanker that has run aground off Delaware. Sam overhears C.J. on the TV in his office and realizes it is one of the ships that he was helping a company to buy when Josh came to get him to work on the campaign.
Toby meets C.J. outside the Press Room to talk about the quote. He is livid and wants the person in his office. C.J. doesn't know who it was. Sam comes to see C.J. about the tanker and asks if the crash may have had anything to do with the navigation or steering systems.
In the White House Counsel's office, Babish is questioning the President on the nature of the disease. Babish reminds the President that he doesn't enjoy attorney-client privilege with Babish as he is White House Counsel and not the President's personal lawyer. Bartlet understands and allows Babish to continue.
Josh is running the meeting on the Mexican economy and sees Toby yelling at staff in the Communications Bullpen. He leaves to go to his office for a moment and walks with C.J., who asks him about the leaked quote and how to find the person, given Toby's mood. Sam meets with a representative of the Coast Guard to talk to her about the tanker.
Babish and the President continue their conversation, when the President leaves to make a call. Leo asks Babish what he thinks -- but Babish is only just getting started. Leo and Babish continue to talk about the President's MS.
C.J. begins meeting with White House staff to try and identify the individual who gave the quote. Sam comes to see Ainsley to talk about his possible culpability in the tanker spill.
Outside the Oval Office, Charlie is filling out forms for his application to Georgetown. He realizes that the health form asks about the medical history of one's parents. He asks Margaret to see Leo right away and to tell him that "it's about an old friend from home" -- a code phrase that indicates an emergency.
Leo comes back to his office and Charlie tells him about the form. Leo asks how Charlie knows about the President. Charlie doesn't answer Leo's question directly, only saying that if you are under 18 when you start college, you have to have a parent's signature on the health form. Leo asks Margaret to get him copies of all of Zoey Bartlet's Georgetown admission forms.
Josh and Donna prank C.J. on her investigation to find the person who gave the quote, as does another staffer, which leads C.J. to go to Toby and tell him that he needs to get over this. Leaks happen and finding the source is not the issue, C.J. tells him. Toby acknowledges this and says he just wants to be prepared for the big issues, to which C.J. responds by asking if there are bigger issues out there. Toby denies that there are, but C.J. (correctly) guesses that Toby is lying to her.
Charlie and the President talk about the President's illness. Charlie tells the President that Zoey had asked him to watch for certain physical signs so he could tell the First Lady. The President makes it very clear to Charlie that he is not to lie ever, at all, in regards to what is going to happen, and that if he does, they are done.
Oliver and the President talk in the Oval Office, where the President tells him about the form. He then asks Babish if he is going to quit, and if so, to do it now so that it doesn't look like his lawyer bailed on him when it got tough. Babish agrees to stay, but only if the President agrees to do whatever Babish tells him to do and that the new slogan for the White House in response to this is going to be, "Bring it on!"
Charlie states that because Zoey was under 18 when she started college, she would have needed a parent's signature on her medical history form. However, in early season 1 Bartlet himself states that Zoey is 19 years old, and she hasn't yet started college. Therefore, she would have had to fill out her medical history form over a year in advance for her to need a parent's signature.
- Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn
- Dulé Hill as Charlie Young
- Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
- Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
- Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
- John Spencer as Leo McGarry
- Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
- and Martin Sheen as President Bartlet
Special Guest Star
- President Bartlet: It's really not even . . . I don't want you to even worry that much about it.
- Leo: Sir?
- President Bartlet: I'm easing in.
- Leo: Okay.
- President Bartlet: Well, Oliver, it really boils down to this. I'm going to tell you a story and then I need you to tell me whether or not I've engaged 16 people in a massive criminal conspiracy to defraud the public in order to win a presidential election.
- [Oliver Babish grabs "the big hammer" and smashes the dictaphone sitting on his desk]
- Oliver: Okay
- Leo: So what do you think?
- Babish: I am nowhere near to being able to answer that question.
- Bartlet: You're going to be subpoenaed. I'm confident in your loyalty to me. I'm confident in your love for me. If you lie to protect me, if you lie just once, if you lie just a little, if you lie because you can't stand what's happening to me and the people making it happen, if you ever, ever lie - you're finished with me. You understand?
- [Babish stands in the middle of the Oval Office and turns as Bartlet enters.]
Babish: Good Evening, Mr President.
- Bartlet: Well, I've got good news for you, Oliver. Turns out I didn't do everything right after all. Zoey had to fill out a family history form for Georgetown and because she was 17, a parent had to sign it.
- Babish: And she left off the MS?
- Bartlet: Yeah
- Babish: And you signed it?
- Bartlet: I'd give anything if I had. It was Lady Macbeth... There's a bad moon rising, Oliver. We both know it. They're gonna take me out for a walk.
- [Bartlet sits down on the sofa. Oliver remains standing.]
- Bartlet: This isn't what you signed up for. Leo begged you to take this job. This isn't what you signed up for. If you leave, I'd appreciate it if you did it now, so it doesn't look like my lawyer bailed on me when the rain starts. No one's gonna hold it against you.
Babish: Well, I appreciate that, Mr. President... If I stay, will you do exactly what I tell you to do?
- Bartlet: I guess it depends.
- Babish: No, I'm afraid it can't depend, sir.
[A lengthy silence falls between them. Bartlet stands up, his hands in his pockets, and walks slowly toward his desk.]
- Bartlet: What would my first step be?
- Babish: First, tell your staff.
- Bartlet: Yeah.
- Babish: Then, decide how to make a public announcement.
- Bartlet: Yeah.
- Babish: Then order the Attorney General to appoint a Special Prosecutor. Not just any Special Prosecutor; the most blood-spitting, Bartlet-hating Republican in the Bar. He's gonna have an unlimited budget and a staff like an army. The new slogan around here is gonna be "bring it on." He's gonna have access to every piece of paper you ever touched. If you invoke executive privilege one time, I'm gone. An assistant DA in Ducksworth wants to take your deposition, you're on the next plane. A freshman Congressman wants your testimony, you'll sit in his kitchen. They wanna drag you to The Hague and charge you with war crimes, what do we say?
- Bartlet: [quietly] Bring it on.
- Babish: I'll be in my office for a while if you need me.