Pentagon analyst lost security clearance after criticizing Halper’s ‘sweetheart’ contracts

by WorldTribune Staff, August 16, 2018

A Pentagon analyst had his security clearance revoked and was relegated to clerical duty by Obama-appointed officials after questioning the FBI’s hiring of an informant to spy on the Trump campaign, a report said.

Adam Lovinger, a 12-year strategist in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA), complained to his bosses about government contracts issued in the fall of 2016 to Stefan Halper, Lovinger’s lawyer Sean M. Bigley told The Washington Times.

Press reports identified Halper as a paid FBI confidential informant whose mission was to make contacts with Trump campaign workers.

“Nobody in the office seemed to know what Halper was doing for his money,” Bigley said. “Adam said Jim Baker, the director, kept Halper’s contracts very close to the vest. And nobody seemed to have any idea what he was doing at the time. He subcontracted out a good chunk of it to other academics. He would compile them all and then collect the balance as his fee as a middleman. That was very unusual.”

Lovinger was stripped of his security clearance on May 1, 2017.

Related: FBI regulations required DOJ to approve Stefan Halper’s mission, May 31, 2018

On July 18, Bigley filed a complaint with the Pentagon’s senior ethics official, charging that Lovinger’s superiors misused the security clearance process to punish him.

Lovinger had been critical of what he said were excessive “sweetheart” deals for Halper and for a “best friend” of Chelsea Clinton, Bigley said.

“As it turns out, one of the two contractors Lovinger explicitly warned his ONA superiors about misusing in 2016 was none other than Halper,” Bigley wrote in his ethics complaint, which called the contracts “cronyism and corruption.”

Lovinger filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint in May with the Defense Department inspector general against Baker. The complaint also singles out Washington Headquarters Services, a Pentagon support agency that awarded the Halper contracts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, security correspondent Rowan Scarborough noted in the Aug. 15 Washington Times report.

In an internal October 2016 email to his bosses, Lovinger wrote of “the moral hazard associated with the Washington Headquarters Services contracting with Stefan Halper,” the complaint said. It said Baker hired Halper to “conduct foreign relations,” a job that should be confined to government officials.

“It was a topic of conversation within the office,” Bigley told The Times. “What is Halper doing, and why is he being paid astronomically more than others similarly situated?”

A Pentagon spokesman told The Times that the Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility reviewed Lovinger’s clearance.

It then “issued a statement of reasons stating why, under [federal guidelines] it would not be clearly consistent with the national interest to continue Mr. Lovinger’s security clearance, and he was provided with the opportunity to respond to the security concerns,” the spokesman said. “After considering all available information, the CAF issued an unfavorable clearance determination and Mr. Lovinger’s clearance was revoked.”

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