BY REBECCA MORIN, POLITICO
More than 200 national security veterans on Thursday demanded answers after the U.S. Postal Service said it accidentally released a security clearance form for a former CIA operative who is now a Democratic congressional candidate.
The veterans, including people who served in the military and in the intelligence, diplomatic, law enforcement and policy communities, wrote in a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Jeff Pon, director of the Office of Personnel Management, that the Trump administration has yet to provide an adequate explanation for the release of Abigail Spanberger’s highly sensitive information.
USPS on Thursday said a personnel file for Spanberger, a Democrat running in a U.S. House race in Virginia, was “inappropriately” released,” The New York Times reported. The Postal Service requested the information be returned. America Rising Corporation, a Republican super PAC, had obtained it through a Freedom of Information Act request.
In addition, “a small number” of personnel records may have been released since June, according to the Times.
Spanberger was a postal inspector before going to work for the CIA. She said Republican groups had used the personnel file to attack her, the Times reported.
“It was with surprise, anger, and profound disappointment that we recently learned that our government — whether intentionally or not — violated the trust of one among our ranks,” the national security experts said in their letter.
“It is possible this situation may be the result of a single person’s error,” they wrote. “Nevertheless, we note how peculiar it would be for the first victim of such an error to be Ms. Spanberger, who is the Democratic nominee in a competitive U.S. House of Representatives race in Virginia.”
“To be clear, Ms. Spanberger’s current political ambitions should have absolutely nothing to do with the obligation of the Executive Branch to safeguard her personal and confidential information,” the letter said.