Did Napolitano lie to Congress on Homeland Security advisory council leaker Mohamed Elibiary?
July 19, 2012 - 5:05 pm
Last October I reported that Homeland Security Advisory Council member Mohamed Elibiary had accessed a secure database, downloaded reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety marked “FOUO/Law Enforcement Sensitive” and then shopped them to a Left-leaning media outlet claiming that the reports represented a pattern of “Islamophobia” on the part of Texas DPS.
That same day, Congressman Louie Gohmert questioned Secretary Napolitano about our report before the House Judiciary Committee:
At that time, Napolitano promised Gohmert that she would personally investigate the matter.
Well, today she appeared again before the House Judiciary Committee and called PJ Media’s report a lie.
Specifically, she said (transcript courtesy of Kerry Picket at the Washington Times):
“I found out that statements that had been made in that regard are false, they are misleading, objectionable.”
Here’s the video of today’s fiery exchange between Gohmert and Napolitano:
Now it’s not everyday that I get accused of lying by a Cabinet member while testifying before Congress.
But she didn’t stop there.
(Rep. Gohmert 1:14)
“Okay then…madam…you need to know that you have people who are lying in your department, because Texas department of public safety has been told the investigation was done, he did access the classified information with his own private computer, he did download the documents that we knew he did and the one thing they could not confirm because they didn’t talk to the reporter, or the people that he shopped the story to, but they couldn’t confirm that he shopped the story…but are you saying before this congress, right now, that as secretary of homeland security, that it is a lie that Mohammad Elibiary downloaded material from a classified website using the secret security clearance that you gave him? Are you saying that’s a lie?”
(Ms. Napolitano 2:10)
“I am saying that is inaccurate, that is correct”
So Napolitano flatly denied my report that Elibiary had accessed and downloaded the reports in question.
But if you revisit my October article, you’ll notice that the information that Elibiary had accessed and downloaded the documents was confirmed by Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw, who told me:
We know that he has accessed DPS documents and downloaded them.
Not only did Director McCraw make that statement, after publishing my article his staff contacted me to make a grammatical correction. If I had misquoted the director on this point, I suspect they would have mentioned it.
But after Napolitano made this denial today, I contacted Texas DPS for comment. Deputy Director/Chief of Staff Robert Bodisch confirmed in an email that Elibiary had accessed and downloaded the documents:
The Director’s understanding continues to be that Mr. Elibiary did download DPS documents. This understanding is based upon conversations with Department of Homeland Security officials and the fact that Mr. Elibiary stated to the Director during a recent meeting that he did download DPS documents from the HS-SLIC site and further stated that he did not try to “shop” them or use them inappropriately.
So not only did this confirmation come from Texas DPS, but their confirmation was confirmed by conversations with Napolitano’s own department and with Elibiary himself.
But later in her testimony today, Napolitano contradicted herself and admitted that he had downloaded “some information”:
(Rep. Gohmert 3:20)
“It did not bother you that he accessed information?”
(Ms. Napolitano 3:25)
“Uh, he accessed some information, what bothers me, quite frankly, are the allegations that are made against anyone who happens to be Muslim.”
So Napolitano can’t even get her own story straight. What I suspect she is doing here is playing with the term “classified” since the documents Elibiary accessed were marked “FOUO/Law Enforcement Sensitive”, and weren’t therefore properly “classified”. But to download such FOUO/LES documents and shop them to the media would still violate his security clearance.
But what about this supposed “investigation” conducted by the Secretary?
For the record, I was never once contacted by anyone from DHS requesting information supporting my claims. Had they done so, I would have sought permission from my source to release the emails between them and Elibiary of his attempt to shop the purloined documents. But they didn’t.
So how could they have conducted an investigation without contacting the main accuser? By not conducting an investigation at all.
In this administration, this is business as usual. Outside of the Beltway this is called a “cover-up”.