A group of 18 Republican senators sent a letter requesting to halt Colin Kahl’s nomination for a top Pentagon post so the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) can investigate whether Kahl improperly disclosed classified information after leaving a prior post in government.
The group of senators, led by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), wrote a letter to the FBI to seek an immediate investigation into Kahl, who is President Joe Biden’s nominee for Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. The senators are asking the FBI to determine whether Kahl had improperly disclosed classified information.
“Colin Kahl’s growing record of apparent mishandling of classified information proves his complete lack of qualification to hold one of our nation’s top national security positions,” Hagerty said in a series of tweets, adding, “These disclosures are extremely concerning and warrant a complete FBI investigation to determine the full scope of the nominee’s mishandling of sensitive national security information, apparently for his own perceived political gain.”
In the letter, the group of senators wrote that Kahl has a proven track record of “apparent mishandling of classified information and controlled unclassified information and his evasive response regarding this issue fall short of the standard required for holding one of our nation’s top national security positions.”
“By apparently soliciting or otherwise receiving classified information and controlled unclassified information from U.S. government officials serving in national security roles and repeatedly posting such information on social media websites,” the group of senators wrote, “Kahl demonstrated disregard for security protocols that are designed to protect our national security interests.”
These disclosures are extremely concerning and warrant a complete FBI investigation to determine the full scope of the nominee’s mishandling of sensitive national security information, apparently for his own perceived political gain.
— Senator Bill Hagerty (@SenatorHagerty) April 13, 2021
The senators believe these actions require the FBI to conduct an additional investigation into Kahl. The senators would like the FBI to investigate Kahl’s alleged mishandling of the classified information while also looking into a series of additional questions:
- After leaving employment in the U.S. government, did Colin Kahl disclose classified information and/or controlled unclassified information on social media, in his news media appearances, or to members of the news media or other persons, including by personally attesting to the existence or veracity of classified information?
- After leaving employment in the U.S. government, did Colin Kahl communicate with U.S. government officials regarding classified information and/or controlled unclassified information, including the internal processes or activities of the National Security Council or the National Security Council staff? If so, which U.S. government officials were involved?
- After leaving employment in the U.S. government, did Colin Kahl receive, whether solicited or unsolicited, any classified information and/or controlled unclassified information from U.S. government officials? If so, from which U.S. government officials did he receive such information?
- Did Colin Kahl violate, or otherwise engage in actions inconsistent with, his classified information nondisclosure agreement(s) with the U.S. government?
The list of senators who signed the letter consists of Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK).