The Pentagon was forced last year to rescind interim security clearances granted under the Obama administration to at least 165 contractors linked to various crimes, including felony convictions for pedophilia and foreign government affiliations, revealed a report issued by the Director of the Defense Security Service (DSS).
According to the report, DOD contractors preserved their ability to access sensitive government information despite prior criminal records and other illicit past activity that the Pentagon’s vetting process failed to detect.
“Of those 165 cases, 151 people had pre-existing issues that they did not disclose and were not discovered during initial checks; the issues were not identified until the investigation was completed [in 2017],” noted the report, adding, “The interim decisions analyzed … actually occurred before 2017 and were subject to a final decision by the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) in 2017.”
In other words, the Pentagon subjected the contractors to the first round of vetting under former President Barack Obama and the Trump administration discovered their deception last year.
NBC News explains:
The report captured data from 200,000 applications for secret or top secret clearance by defense contractors over the past three years, many of which were not fully adjudicated until 2017. It found that 486 applicants had their clearances denied or revoked. Of those applicants, 165 had slipped through the initial round of vetting and been allowed access to sensitive information…Felony charges were the cause for revoking 63 clearances, [drug use resulted in 66 revoked clearances], and evidence of foreign influence or foreign preference was found in 56 applications.
In 151 of the cases, applicants were granted an initial security clearance that was later revoked when it was discovered the applicant withheld information. In one example, a person given interim secret clearance in 2015 was discovered in 2017 to have been found guilty of raping a child prior to applying for the clearance.
The Pentagon provided the report to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in mid-October in response to questions about the Pentagon’s vetting processes.
It appears that the Maryland Democrat’s intentions to link the Trump administration to vetting process violations may have backfired.
According to the DSS report, the Pentagon conducted the initial security clearances before U.S. President Donald Trump took office. It was not until the investigation into the cases ended last year that DOD revoked the clearances.
Cummings is the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reforms Committee.
Although the Democrat condemned the data as “troubling,” he seized the opportunity to send a letter to Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the House panel’s chairman, urging him to subpoena the White House.
Cummings called on Gowdy to order the White House “to produce documents it is withholding relating to interim security clearances for the [President Trump’s] top aides.”
The Maryland Democrat did not ask for an investigation into the Pentagon officials who granted security clearances to criminals, including pedophiles, under Obama.
It would not be the first time that pedophiles receive passes under Obama’s tenure. The former president’s Pentagon issued a waiver allowing the U.S. military to provide funding for Afghan forces accused of raping children.
Illicit activities highlighted in the Pentagon report ranged from suspicious financial dealings to concerns that influence from foreign governments potentially compromised the contractors in question. Trump’s Pentagon revoked most clearances over questionable financial dealings.