Attorneys for a State Department whistleblower maintain that sensitive information was stolen from their Texas law offices by politically motivated burglars.
Aurelia Fedenisn is a former agent at the State Department’s Office of Inspector General. Last month, she leaked a secret internal memo to CBS News detailing how high-ranking State Department officials pressured agents to cover up allegations of sexual assault and drug use by diplomatic security personnel and at least one ambassador.
During three separate break-ins between the afternoon of June 29 and the early morning of June 30, two unidentified individuals burglarized Schulman & Mathias, the Dallas-based law firm representing Fedenisn. They busted through a conference room wall, pried open a filing cabinet and stole three laptop computers.
They left all other items in the office untouched, including expensive video projection equipment and bars of silver.
“Typically when you’re a thief, anything of value you just throw in there, especially if it’s not connected to anything,” lawyer Damon Mathias said in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.
His partner, Cary Schulman, echoed that assertion.
“It doesn’t appear to be financially motivated,” he said. “The police have told me that in thirty years of law enforcement, they’ve never seen a commercial robbery where the guy goes back more than once.”
The partners believe the thieves stole their computers not to make an easy buck, but to access the information they contained on Aurelia Fedenisn’s case.
“I don’t have any other major cases,” Schulman noted, claiming that the timing of the burglary made him particularly suspicious.
Interest in the State Department tipster would also explain the multiple trips the robbers made. “They had to come back because they either couldn’t get in a computer, had the wrong computer, or didn’t find what they were looking for,” Schulman said.
Mathias admitted that his computer likely contained the most information on the whistleblower’s case. He told TheDCNews Foundation that it was accessed from another location just minutes after the final break-in.
“Everything regarding the Aurelia Fedenisn case was on those computers,” he said. He thinks the burglars may have been trying to examine new or unreleased allegations of State Department misconduct to determine what information the law firm currently possesses.
They may also have been searching for something that would discredit the whistleblower or her counsel.
“I’m not saying the State Department did it,” said Schulman, noting that the burglary was not particularly professional. “But there could be an Obama fanatic, there could be a loyalist to Hillary who thinks we’re trying to sabotage her campaign.”
“I would say that individuals who might feel at jeopardy [due to Fedenisn’s allegations], or friends and loyalists of individuals who might feel at jeopardy, might have taken it into their own hands,” he continued, hinting that “strongholds of support within the State Department” may have been involved.
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki denies her agency’s involvement in the crime. “Any allegation that the Department of State authorized someone to break into Mr. Schulman’s law firm is false and baseless,” she said in a statement.
Schulman accused the State Department of “blatant corruption” in his interview, claiming that a number of other agency whistleblowers had shared “alarming information” with his law firm since he first took on Fedenisn’s case.
“I’m shocked that somebody hasn’t swooped into the Department of State and taken over all these investigations, because they’re all lying,” he declared.
Last month Schulman and Mathias told Foreign Policy Magazine that the State Department was trying to intimidate their client into silence by staking out her house, harassing her children and attempting to force her to sign a self-incriminating document.
“They’ve retaliated against every single whistleblower that has come forward,” Schulman told TheDCNews Foundation. “This is a routine thing for them, they don’t think twice about it.”
“It’s a system of promoting people that are willing to do wrong, and retaliating against people that they see as opposing them or not on their team,” he concluded.
Schulman said he plans to seek federal charges, including interfering with a federal investigation, once the perpetrators have been found.
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