Government watchdog group Judicial Watch is suing the Department of Defense on behalf of a Pentagon analyst who said he was stripped of his security clearance after raising concerns about contracts given to Stefan Halper, the FBI informant who spied on the Trump campaign according to a press release.
“Mr. Lovinger was targeted because he blew the whistle on Stefan Halper and a Clinton crony getting suspicious Defense contracts,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is disturbing that the Defense Department may now be implicated in Spygate targeting of President Trump.”
Adam S. Lovinger, whose security clearance was pulled after he raised concerns regarding lucrative government contracts awarded to Stefan Halper, who has been identified as being used an informant by the Obama administration against President Trump’s campaign, as well as Long Term Strategy Group, a consulting firm owned by Chelsea Clinton’s friend Jacqueline Newmyer Deal.
The Washington Times reported on the contracts in question: “According to USASpending.gov, Mr. Halper was paid $411,000 by Washington Headquarters Services on Sept. 26, 2016, for a contract that ran until this March.” Also, “a string of contracts totaling $11 million [was granted] to D.C. consulting firm Long Term Strategy Group. It is headed by Jacqueline Newmyer Deal, a self-described ‘best friend’ of Chelsea Clinton.”
Lovinger filed his complaint in the fall of 2016. In May 2017, Lovinger’s security clearance was initially suspended by Barbara Westgate, the Director of Washington Headquarters Services and an Obama-appointee. A few months later, the Pentagon’s Consolidated Adjudications Facility (CAF)“issued an unfavorable clearance determination and Mr. Lovinger’s clearance was revoked,” a Defense Department spokesman informed The Washington Times. The CAF is part of the Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) and reports directly to Westgate.
In September 2017, Lovinger filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint against the CAF, which determines security clearance eligibility of non-intelligence personnel, Westgate and James H. Baker, the DOD’s Director of Net Assessment who recommended the contract awards to Halper and Long Term Strategy Group.
In December 2017, Lovinger filed a Privacy Act request seeking:
Any and all emails or similar electronic messaging transmissions referencing the word “Lovinger;” whether in the title or body of said communications(s); between May 1, 2017 and present; to, from, or copied to the following individuals:
A. Mr. Edward Fish, Director DoD CAF
B. Mr. Daniel Purtill, Deputy Director DoD CAF
C. Mr. Ronald Freels, Adjudications Directorate Chief.
In March 2018, the DOD responded, treating his request as both a Privacy Act and a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request and admitting it found 75 pages of responsive documents but was withholding them all in their entirety. Lovinger was informed that Fish, against whom the whistleblower complaint had been filed, had also been the official who determined the documents should be withheld.
In April 2018, Lovinger appealed the DOD’s determination. Over four months later, the appeal has not been addressed. Washington Headquarters Services has refused repeated requests to recuse itself from further involvement in this case despite an apparent conflict of interest. Under existing DOD policy, WHS officials reporting to Westgate will be the final arbiter of Lovinger’s case, which cannot be appealed to the courts.
Also, the DOD has yet to comply with Lovinger’s Privacy Act Request.
Before his work on the NSC, Lovinger was a strategic affairs analyst in the Office of Net Assessment at the Pentagon, where he specialized in issues related to U.S.-India relations, the Persian Gulf, and sub-Saharan Africa. He also is an attorney and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and McCort School of Public Policy.