Barrasso Calls on DOE to Thoroughly Review Security Clearance Processes Following Theft by Senior Official

November 30, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, sent a letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm calling for a thorough review of the department’s security clearance processes. This letter was sent in light of recent felony theft charges brought against a senior DOE official.

Barrasso previously sent a letter to DOE in July asking for specifics on the department’s vetting and granting security clearance processes. That letter has not received a response. 

In the letter this week, Barrasso stresses that it’s in our national security interest to properly vet executive branch officials. He requests DOE launch an investigation into their own security clearance processes and report the findings no later than February 1, 2023. 

Read the full letter and questions here. The full letter is also below. 

Dear Secretary Granholm, 

I write to you with serious concerns regarding felony theft charges brought against the Department of Energy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition, Sam Brinton. It is in the interest of both the Department’s mission and our national security that the Deputy Assistant Secretary’s clearance be immediately revoked. Additionally, the Department should undertake all necessary steps to terminate their employment immediately. 

As I stated in my unanswered July 20th letter to you regarding the Department’s security clearance process attached here, it is imperative executive branch officials are free of a history of conduct unbecoming of federal service. The Department’s inability to respond to my concerns regarding the DOE’s clearance process is indicative of an egregious inattention to potential insider threats within the Department and the greater safety of the American public. 

Accordingly, I am requesting that you immediately launch a comprehensive review of the Department’s security clearance adjudication process and report to me the findings no later than February 1, 2023. 

Additionally, in the interest of ensuring the rest of the Department’s employees have and continue to operate with the utmost integrity throughout the execution of their duties, I ask that you answer the following questions no later than December 13, 2022.