National Security Agency (NSA)

Senators Ask Acting DoD Inspector General to Investigate Appointment of NSA General Counsel

By Bryce Klehm
Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 2:40 PM

In a letter addressed to the Department of Defense Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell, Sens. Mark Warner and Jack Reed have requested that the acting inspector general “investigate the process for the recent selection” of the newly selected General Counsel to the National Security Agency (NSA).

The letter lists three reasons for opening an investigation including: “press accounts” that have implicated the White House’s interference in “what is supposed to be a merit-based, apolitical civil service position”; the timing of the selection “less than a week following the Presidential election and mere moments after the sitting Secretary of Defense had been fired”; and the selectee’s lack of experience—he graduated law school in 2011 and has been, in the senator’s account, “limited to political roles on Capitol Hill and in the White House National Security Council.” Sens. Warner, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Reed, Ranking Member on the Armed Services Committee, ask Acting Inspector General O’Donell to respond to eight questions including: “Were safeguards to prevent political appointees from inappropriately ‘burrowing’ into the civil service applied?”

You can read the senators’ letter here and below: