Barrasso: Brinton Commits Crimes on DOE’s Dime

July 27, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm urging her to disclose former employee Sam Brinton’s official travel itineraries and address continuing concerns surrounding the criminal acts he committed during his employment at DOE.


Read the full letter here and below.

Dear Secretary Granholm,


It has been revealed the Department of Energy’s (DOE) former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition, Sam Brinton, was on a taxpayer-funded business trip when Brinton brazenly stole luggage at Harry Reid International Airport on July 6, 2022.[1] Far from a faithful execution of duties, Sam Brinton used taxpayer dollars to facilitate theft from the very public DOE is bound to serve.


Though Brinton is no longer a DOE employee, there are continuing concerns about potential criminality committed during Brinton’s employment at DOE. The press has reported on three alleged thefts carried out by Brinton. This criminal activity represents a disturbing pattern of behavior. It is therefore important to discover whether or not Brinton carried out additional thefts while on DOE-sponsored travel.


As Sam Brinton’s employer, your department is liable for Brinton’s criminal misconduct committed while on official travel. It is clear DOE has both a legal and moral obligation to address additional criminal acts carried out at the hands of your senior employee. For this reason, I request DOE provide the Committee a list of Brinton’s official travel itineraries. Additionally, I request the relevant DOE personnel work with the Inspector General to determine whether or not Brinton committed other criminal acts while on DOE-sponsored travel. By doing so, DOE may help other potential victims of Brinton’s crimes. 


I ask that you reply to this letter in writing and answer the attached questions no later than August 9, 2023.



  1. Why did the Department of Energy fail to disclose the fact that Brinton had committed the July 6, 2022 luggage theft while on official travel?
  2. Can the Department of Energy confirm that Sam Brinton did not engage in additional criminal acts in the performance of Brinton’s official duties?
    1. If not, will DOE commit to working with the DOE Inspector General to ensure Brinton has not committed additional criminal acts in the performance of Brinton’s official duties?

                                                              i.      If not, why not?

  1. Do you commit to providing the Committee with a list of Brinton’s official travel itineraries?
    1. If not, why not?
    2. If so, please provide a list of all of Brinton’s official travel itineraries in your response to this letter.