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Pro-Trump Pentagon Analyst Was Stripped of His Security Clearance by Obama Holdovers

Arial view of the Pentagon.

A Pentagon analyst was stripped of his security clearance by Obama holdovers after he complained of suspicious government contracts with Stefan Halper, the FBI informant who spied on the Trump presidential campaign in 2016, the Washington Times reported. The pro-Trump analyst also apparently ruffled feathers when he blew the whistle on an alleged sweetheart deal with a woman Chelsea Clinton referred to as her “best friend.”

Adam Lovinger, a senior official of the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA), had his security clearance yanked on May 1, 2017, and has been relegated to performing clerical chores ever since. ONA analyzes future threats and ways to defeat them.

Lovinger believes that ONA retaliated against him because he had complained to his bosses about the questionable contracts in the fall of 2016.

After his security clearance was revoked, Lovinger filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint with the Defense Department inspector general against James H. Baker, director of ONA.  The complaint also names Washington Headquarters Services, a Pentagon support agency that handled the Halper contracts, which totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“It was a topic of conversation within the office,” Lovinger's attorney, Sean M. Bigley, told the Washington Times. “What is Halper doing, and why is he being paid astronomically more than others similarly situated?”

Stefan Halper is a foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor with connections to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6. Halper was a paid FBI "confidential human source," whose mission in 2016 was to make contacts with Trump campaign workers while the FBI was investigating any Trump ties to Moscow. Two months before the 2016 election, he requested a meeting with George Papadopoulos and asked him a number of questions about Russia that made the junior campaign adviser suspicious. The professor also used "intelligence tradecraft" on Carter Page and at least one other Trump campaign official.

“Nobody in the office seemed to know what Halper was doing for his money,” Bigley said. “Adam said Jim Baker, the director, kept Halper’s contracts very close to the vest. And nobody seemed to have any idea what he was doing at the time. He subcontracted out a good chunk of it to other academics. He would compile them all and then collect the balance as his fee as a middleman. That was very unusual.”

The FBI may have been spying on the Trump campaign as far back as December of 2015, recently uncovered text messages revealed.

The texts between disgraced fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page referred to "oconus lures," which is FBI lingo for spies outside the continental United States.  Strzok was leading the Clinton investigation at the time and would go on to play a central role in the Trump/Russia probe. It has been assumed that the lovebirds were referring to the FBI's efforts to bait & hook unsuspecting Trump campaign officials overseas.

According to the complaint, Lovinger sent an internal email to his superiors in October 2016, concerning “the moral hazard associated with the Washington Headquarters Services contracting with Stefan Halper.” It pointed out that Halper was hired to “conduct foreign relations,” a job that should be confined to government employees.

Mr. Bigley told The Times that the inspector general’s criminal investigative division has interviewed Mr. Lovinger about Office of Net Assessment contracting.

In all, Mr. Lovinger has four cases pending: whistleblower reprisal, criminal division, an ethics complaint and an appeal on his security clearance revocation.

A spokesman told The Times that the Pentagon would not comment on the case’s merits.

The spokesman said the Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudicaitons Facility reviewed Mr. Lovinger’s clearance.

It then “issued a statement of reasons stating why, under [federal guidelines] it would not be clearly consistent with the national interest to continue Mr. Lovinger’s security clearance, and he was provided with the opportunity to respond to the security concerns,” the spokesman said. “After considering all available information, the CAF issued an unfavorable clearance determination and Mr. Lovinger’s clearance was revoked.”

Mr. Bigley said the conflict is that the consolidated authority resides within the Washington Headquarters Services, which is the target of Mr. Lovinger’s complaint.

“The CAF’s entire ‘adjudication’ of this case was orchestrated by corrupt officials at WHS, which was demonstrated numerous times throughout the process,” he said.

Lovinger tried to get an assignment to the Trump White House national security staff in January 2017,  but was thwarted by Baker, who claimed that he had failed to follow security rules. Mr. Lovinger denies that he did anything wrong.

Baker is an Obama holdover appointed by Secretary Ashton Carter in May 2015.

According to USASpending.gov, Mr. Halper was paid $411,000 by Washington Headquarters Services on Sept. 26, 2016, for a contract that ran until this March. Mr. Bigley argues that since Washington Headquarters Services awarded the contracts, it should be removed from Mr. Lovinger’s appeal process as the final arbiter.

Mr. Halper paid Mr. Papadoupolos $3,000 for an energy research project the same month he was awarded the $411,000 Pentagon contract.

Mr. Bigley said Mr. Baker initiated the Lovinger inquiry and picked two investigators who the attorney said had no training. Based on their report, Ms. Westgate suspended his clearance.

Bigly toldthe Washington Times that Lovinger also complained in the fall of 2016 about a number of contracts totaling $11 million to a D.C. consulting firm called Long Term Strategy Group. The firm is headed by Jacqueline Newmyer Deal, who is reportedly Chelsea Clinton's "best friend."

“Some of our contractors distribute to others their ONA work for personal and professional self-promotion,” Lovinger wrote to Baker. “Another part is the growing narrative that ONA’s most high-profile contractors are known for getting paid a lot to do rather peripheral work."

“On the issue of pay, our contractors boast about how much they get paid from ONA. Such boasting, of course, generates jealously among those outside the club, and particularly from those who have tried to secure ONA contracts unsuccessfully,” he added.

He also said: “On the issue of quality, more than once I have heard our contractor studies labeled ‘derivative,’ ‘college-level’ and based heavily on secondary sources. One of our contractor studies was literally cut and pasted from a World Bank report that I just happened to have read the week before reading the contractor study itself. Even the font was the same.”

According to the Washington Free Beacon, then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton arranged meetings between Deal and Pentagon officials to discuss contracts in 2009.

Deal said in a statement tothe Washington Times that no award “resulted directly or indirectly from the actions or influence of Secretary Clinton.”

The think tank said: “Jacqueline Deal and the Long Term Strategy Group (LTSG) are justifiably proud of their collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense across multiple administrations over the last two decades, beginning under the administration of President George W. Bush. LTSG’s work has consistently earned the highest respect and confidence of its clientele in government and has won LTSG a reputation for producing research and analysis of exceptional quality.”

After he was sidelined, Lovinger told the Washington Free Beacon that the accusations against him were "both puzzling and baseless" and he just wanted "to get back to work."

Richard Perle, Ronald Reagan’s former assistant secretary of defense, told The Daily Caller last November: “He clearly was the target, for political reasons, of an effort to push him out of government. And this was done consciously and deliberately. He’s a Trump loyalist, and it was launched and sustained by an Obama holdover. He’s [Lovinger] been treated so badly. It’s a disgrace.”

Perle blasted Baker, calling him “a shallow and manipulative character that should have gone with the change in administration.”

“This cries out for an investigation of Baker,” Perle added.

Eighteen months into the Trump administration, and Baker is still the director of ONA.