by WorldTribune Staff, August 27, 2018
An attorney who has handled hundreds of security clearance cases said the case of Adam Lovinger is like nothing he has seen before.
Lovinger, a Trump-supporting defense analyst at the Pentagon, had his top-secret security clearance revoked after he complained internally about the awards of questionable outside research contracts to an informant, Stefan Halper, who spied on the Trump campaign.
A key memo in the decision to revoke Lovinger’s clearance came from Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) Director Barbara Westgate, who was appointed in the last year of the Obama administration, and was 100 percent redacted.
Attorney Sean Bigley told security correspondent Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times that, based on a paper trail in Lovinger’s case that reaches into the office of Defense Secretary James Mattis, “I have never seen this in my entire career. I have never before seen where the WHS is in the middle of a case like this.”
After Lovinger complained, “his stellar Pentagon career fell apart,” Scarborough noted.
Related: Pentagon analyst lost security clearance after criticizing Halper’s ‘sweetheart’ contracts, August 16, 2018
James Baker, the director of the Pentagon’s secretive Office of Net Assessment, initiated an investigation into Lovinger’s handling of sensitive material and filed a report with the department’s consolidated adjudication facility. Mattis’s chief of staff then pulled Lovinger from detailed duty on President Donald Trump’s National Security Council staff.
The consolidated adjudication facility backed Baker, rejected Bigley’s rebuttal and revoked Lovinger’s security clearance.
“The next thing he knew, Lovinger was suspended without pay and now is struggling financially,” his attorney said, according to Scarborough’s report.
Among the documents considered by the consolidated adjudication facility was a four-page memo signed by Westgate.
“When the document was turned over to Bigley, it was completely redacted – blank – meaning he has no idea what she told the facility that reports to her,” Scarborough wrote.
“It’s absolutely unprecedented,” Bigley said. “This is the only time we have ever seen this level of involvement and undue influence. I have never seen this in my entire career. We should be absolutely entitled to see that memo. And it clearly had an undue influence on the CAF because what are they going to tell your boss? ‘Sorry, boss, you are wrong.’ ”
Bigley said the memo and other documents were turned over only a few weeks ago, well after the consolidated adjudication facility had decided the case. The tardiness, he said, prevented him from fully rebutting the allegations.
According to Scarborough’s report, a Pentagon spokesman for WHS said there would be no comment on Bigley’s allegations, but added that Lovinger received full due process.