The Washington establishment has pulled the security clearance for a Trump supporter after he questioned lucrative government contracts being given to a man the Obama administration used to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign.
Those contracts, worth millions, also were going to one of Chelsea Clinton’s close buddies.
And now the fight is going to court.
The Washington watchdog Judicial Watch said it has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit on behalf of Adam S. Lovinger.
Another dispute over security clearances has arisen with President Trump’s removal of former CIA Director John Brennan’s authority after accusing the president of “treasonous” behavior. Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh believes Brennan was threatening to sue because he was profiting from his security clearance.
Now, Lovinger, a former Pentagon analyst and White House National Security Council senior director, is in a fight over his clearance.
Judicial Watch said his 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.”
“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,” the Washington Times said.
Deals worth ‘$11 million’
And a string of contracts totaling $11 million went to Long Term Strategy Group, headed by Chelsea Clinton’s “best friend” Deal, the report said.
“Lovinger’s security clearance was initially suspended last year 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 Lovinger’s clearance was revoked,’ a Defense Department spokesman informed The Washington Times.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,” Judicial Watch revealed.
Last fall, 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 from between May 1, 2017 and present; to, from, or copied to Edward Fish, director of the DoD CAF, deputy director Daniel Purtill, and Ronald Freels, adjudications directorate chief.
The government found 75 pages of documents, but all were being withheld entirely on Fish’s orders.
An appeal brought no response from the government.
“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,” Judicial Watch said.
“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.”
The Washington Times reported Lovinger “suspects collusion among Obama-era officials to punish him.”
The government claimed Lovinger violated procedures for classified information, but he’s denied that.
Paid FBI informant
Halper, the report said, was a paid FBI informant.
“News reports disclosed Mr. Halper’s role earlier this year and that he made contact with at least two Trump campaign volunteers. Mr. Lovinger, a lawyer who had worked in the Pentagon general counsel office, complained that the office of net assessment was using Mr. Halper to conduct foreign policy,” the Times reported.
Sean Bigley, Lovinger’s own lawyer, has requested a hearing before the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals, which would be outside of Westgate’s influence.
The Times reported, “Mr. Lovinger is a cause celebre among conservatives, who view him as a victim of ‘deep state’ Obama supporters. He had sought an assignment to work in the Trump White House, but the posting ended after a few months when Mr. Baker moved against his security clearance.”
Westgate was installed in the bureaucracy only a short time before Obama left office.
The higher profile security clearance case, Brennan’s, drew the attention of Limbaugh this week.
Limbaugh explained that “when you threaten to sue over something it means that you have had something of value, usually financial value taken away from you and that you want to be compensated for it, or otherwise made whole.”
“And, of course, Trump is tweeting that this would be fabulous. Let’s go ahead and file suit. I hope he does because that’s discovery. That means we get to go into all kinds of John Brennan areas,” he told his radio listeners Monday.
Brennan described Trump’s performance at a press conference after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as “treasonous.” And he stated as fact in an article in the New York Times that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
That’s the subject of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, which has produced no evidence of collusion by the Trump campaign.
Brennan’s rhetoric has become so incendiary that even an intelligence colleague during the Obama administration, ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, said he thinks Brennan’s constant commentary is an issue “in and of itself.”
He likened Brennan to a “freight train.”
Limbaugh noted President Trump’s tweet in reaction to the lawsuit threat.
Trump wrote: “I hope John Brennan, the worst CIA director in our country’s history, brings a lawsuit. It will then be very easy to get all of his records, texts, emails and documents to show, not only the poor job he did, but how he was involved with the Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt.”
Limbaugh described security clearances as “resume enhancements.”
“It is how people like Brennan get hired as consultants,” he said. “It’s how they get hired on boards of directors. It’s how they get hired as TV analysts, experts and commentators. I have come to learn that a security clearance is resume gold inside the Beltway.”
He continued: “These guys do not want to lose these. These are like medals or gold stars. So Brennan is giving away the game here by running around threatening to sue Trump. There is no free speech being infringed upon here in any way, shape, manner, or form. Brennan’s been amplified in fact.”