House Panel Probes Who Pentagon Punished For Mishandling Secrets

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Ethan Barton Managing Editor
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A congressional committee wants to know how many Department of Defense employees have mishandled classified information and what punishments they’ve faced.

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz requested the Pentagon turn over documents that show how many cases were opened regarding mishandled classified information, the offenders’ ranks or titles and how they were punished, if at all.

“The possible penalties for mishandling classified materials are wide-ranging, from administrative penalties to ten years’ confinement,” the Utah Republican wrote in a letter sen to Defense Secretary Ash Carter Tuesday and first reported by FedSmith.com. (RELATED: Senator Believes SecDef’s Personal Email Account Was Filled With Sensitive Info)

Chaffetz requested the documents cover cases from 2009 through 2013 and be provided by Aug. 2, 2016.

More than 2.8 million individuals can access classified information and hold security clearances, about 80 percent of which “were sponsored by the Department of Defense,” Chaffetz said.

Security clearances are granted based on 13 guidelines, two of which consider whether an employe has previously mishandled information. Individuals who mishandle classified information can be prosecuted under two criminal statutes or may see their security clearances denied or revoked.

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