Washington watchdogs at Judicial Watch say they have uncovered a case that illustrates how the “deep state,” the federal bureaucrats left from the Obama administration, may be impacting the presidency of Donald Trump.
The holdover staffers have been blamed in recent weeks for leaking information to make President Trump look bad.
From claims of rifts in the White House to the unproven “Russia” connections, the “deep state” has been busy.
Now Judicial Watch says it has uncovered what may turn out to be a case study in the art of sabotaging a sitting president.
“It appears that a respected veteran national security analyst tapped by the White House to work on the National Security Council (NSC) was abruptly stripped of his top-secret clearance for partisan political purposes,” the watchdog group revealed Tuesday.
His name is Adam Lovinger, a 12-year strategic affairs analyst at the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, the ONA.
In January, the group said “then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn brought him over to the NSC, the influential chamber that advises and assists the president on national security and foreign policies.”
But this month he was warned by the Pentagon that his Top-Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS-SCI) clearance was suspended for “unspecified outside activities.”
Judicial Watch noted news reports that Lovinger was recruited by Obama Pentagon appointees because of his tough stance on Islamic militants, China and Iran as well as his anti-Trump sentiments. One Washington, D.C., newspaper reported Lovinger’s clearance was suspended after he wrote several memos criticizing his former boss, ONA Director James Baker.
Judicial Watch said the ONA functions as an independent organization within the Department of Defense and is tasked with identifying emerging or future threats to the United States.
“It compiles highly classified reports and apparently Lovinger felt that, under Baker’s leadership, the ONA was failing to address the threats created by Iran, radical Islam and China. Baker was appointed ONA director in 2015 by Obama Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.”
But Judicial Watch explained Lovinger’s clearance dispute “involves a bureaucratic turf battle and an effort by anti-Trump officials in the national security sector to neutralize Trump aides, the capitol-area article says.”
“An international news outlet wrote that ‘Lovinger’s abrupt loss of clearance and apparent exile have had some observers questioning if seasoned national security experts with otherwise strong credentials are being sacrificed in an escalating struggle involving anti- and pro-Trump forces in Washington’s fractious national security bureaucracy.’”
Judicial Watch described Lovinger as a lawyer with expertise on South Asia, the Persian Gulf and some parts of Africa who previously worked as a general counsel at the Pentagon.
“Judicial Watch is investigating Lovinger’s case and has reached out to the Pentagon, which is trying to keep it under wraps by asserting it’s a ‘personnel matter’ that must be kept private,” Judicial Watch said.
While Lovinger is working to get his security clearance reinstated, Judicial Watch reported in addition to a no-comment from the Department of Defense, there was a denial that the “political accusation” was true.
Judicial Watch said it leaves the motive for Lovinger getting his clearance abruptly revoked “shrouded in mystery.”
“While Lovinger fights to reinstate his security clearance here’s how the Pentagon is using his exceptional skills set; sources tell Judicial Watch that the highly regarded national security analyst has been shipped off to an office in Alexandria, Virginia, to work as a file clerk.”