August 29, 2018 News & Press Releases · Press Releases and Announcements

GOP Super PAC Discloses Private National Security Form in Politically Motivated Attack

by DPVA Press Office

GOP Super PAC Discloses Private National Security Form in Politically Motivated Attack

C.I.A. Officer-Turned-Candidate Says PAC Obtained Her Security Application (New York Times)

Graham Wilson, a lawyer for Ms. Spanberger’s campaign, said that explanation, which laid the mistake on the Postal Service, did not ring true. “In this unredacted form, this is not a document that the government can provide under the Privacy Act,” he said.“I write as a former civil servant and as an American, in shock and anger, that you have tried to exploit my service to our country by exposing my most personal information in the name of politics,” she [Spanberger] wrote.

National security experts said that the unauthorized release of such a highly confidential document is particularly troubling if it turns out to not be an isolated episode.

“It calls for a tremendous amount of extremely private, personal information, and so to the person whose information is at stake, it is extremely significant,” said David Kris, a founder of Culper Partners and a former assistant attorney general for national security.

Conservative PAC releases document on Spanberger teaching at Saudi-funded school (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The Spanberger campaign said it believes the Congressional Leadership Fund PAC obtained an unredacted national security questionnaire illegally. A consultant for the PAC, which is linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the records were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

“I am not aware of any legal way that CLF could have this document,” Spanberger, a former CIA officer challenging Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th, wrote in a letter to the PAC on Tuesday. She demanded that the PAC destroy the unredacted records and agree not to share them.

Ex-CIA House candidate accuses GOP super PAC of obtaining her security application (The Hill)

In her letter, Spanberger demanded that the CLF destroy all copies of her application form and stop using the information.

Spanberger, who is in a congressional race against Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), wrote in her letter that she had “clear evidence” that the CLF had given her application to “at least one news outlet.”

Spanberger’s campaign lawyer Graham Wilson told the Times, “In this unredacted form, this is not a document that the government can provide under the Privacy Act.”

CIA Analyst Turned Candidate Fears She’ll Get Doxxed Next (Daily Beast)

That’s because Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operations officer running for Congress in Virginia, has had her security clearance application released to her GOP political opponents, as the New York Times revealed Tuesday night. That application, known bureaucratically as an SF-86 form, is a trove of highly revealing and potentially weaponizable personal information – leaving Slotkin and others with biographical similarities to Spanberger wondering if the disclosure of such documentation on national-security officials, until now exceptionally closely held by the government, is about to become a new normal in U.S. right-wing politics.

“For Paul Ryan’s Super PAC to obtain and illegally distribute this highly-sensitive and unredacted national security document of a former CIA officer is shocking and un-American.” said DCCC Communications Director Meredith Kelly

“It is unprecedented for the USPS to provide this unredacted SF86 form to Abigail Spanberger’s political opponents, and the fact that CLF continues to publicly distribute her Social Security number and medical history calls into question the entire organization’s credibility and patriotism. Speaker Paul Ryan and every single House Republican should condemn this organization’s influence in their campaigns.”

Major GOP super PAC appears to be using CIA officer-turned-Democratic candidate's security form in campaign (The Week)

Spanberger, who served overseas as a covert CIA officer for eight years, isn't buying it. In a cease-and-desist letter to CLF executive director Corry Bilss, she says she has "clear evidence" that the PAC provided copies of her unredacted security clearance form to "at least one news outlet," and she's "not aware of any legal way that CLF could have this document." While Spanberger was waiting for the CIA to approve her security application, she filled out a similar application to work for the USPS Postal Inspection Service. Neither of those applications are legally FOIA-able.

National security analyst John Schindler sees two possibilities: "Either her political enemies have a mole inside CIA who's breaking a mountain of laws," he tweeted, or Spanberger's file was pilfered by the Chinese government in a huge data heist discovered in 2015. Either way, he added, the CLF and Brat campaign are either "exploiting a criminal [act] for illegal political purposes" or "in bed with Chinese intelligence." Spanberger and national Democrats are worried this tactic is being used on other candidates with intelligence or law-enforcement background. "I have nothing to hide," she said. "If they need a canary in the coal mine, I'm glad it's me."

A number of national security experts have condemned the unprecedented release and obtaining of Spanberger’s security clearance application as well, including: