Americans elected Donald Trump partially for his promise to “drain the swamp” of the nation’s capital — but it looks like getting rid of allegedly corrupt political appointees is easier said than done.
An Obama-era appointee within the Department of Defense is now under investigation after he allegedly helped rig government contracts for personal benefit… and one of the recipients of the “pay-to-play” scheme is apparently a close personal friend of the Clinton family.
According to The Daily Caller, James H. Baker, director of the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment, is accused of retaliating against a whistle-blower who first raised the alarm about the problem.
The inspector general at the Pentagon is now investigating allegations that Baker “unleashed various reprisals” against Adam Lovinger, a senior Office of Net Assessment official, reported The Daily Caller.
According to the Department of Defense, the Office of Net Assessment “is an independent organization within the Department of Defense charged with identifying emerging or future threats and opportunities for the United States.”
That nebulous job apparently leaves a lot of wiggle room for those in charge of it.
Lovinger raised a red flag when he discovered that $11.2 million in defense contracts from the Office of Net Assessment were given to the Long Term Strategic Group. That company is owned by close Clinton friend Jacqueline Newmyer.
“Lovinger warned about potential sweetheart deals to politically-connected outside contractors, including one with a woman Chelsea Clinton has referred to as her ‘best friend,’” The Daily Caller reported.
The multi-million dollar contracts were allegedly awarded to LTSG even though the firm did not have official federal approval to handle classified materials.
“We submit that Baker’s interest was his awareness of the LTSG-Clinton connection; his presumptive desire to exploit that to his advantage in the event of a Clinton election win; and the fact that contractors like LTSG served as a lucrative landing pad for ONA retirees,” declared Sean M. Bigley, an attorney for Lovinger, in a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis’ office.
In other words, the lawyer is charging that Baker — appointed during the Obama administration — anticipated that Hillary Clinton would take the White House, and was stacking the deck in his own favor by currying favor with Clinton family friends.
To make matters worse, it looks like Baker might have retaliated against the whistle-blower Lovinger with what appear to be frivolous investigations.
Despite the fact that Lovinger was given glowing reviews in the intelligence community and was offered a director position on the National Security Council, Bigley said the Clinton ally Baker caused the whistle-blower to temporarily lose his security clearance and derailed his career in other ways, The Daily Caller reported.
“Bigley said the allegations against his client are ‘demonstrably false’ and called Baker ‘partisan and highly vindictive,’” reported the Daily Caller.
Unfortunately for Baker, retaliating against well-meaning whistle-blowers is greatly frowned upon, especially with no Clinton in the White House as he had hoped.
Presidential Policy Directive-19, promulgated by then-President Barack Obama administration in 2012, “prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.” Ironically, that directive is now the reason that a holdover from the 44th president’s own administration is being investigated by the inspector general.
The kind of backroom dealing and insider trading alleged in this case is a major problem within the government. It is unfortunately extremely common, but that’s exactly why whistle-blowers concerned about government fraud and abuse need to be protected.
One by one, the slimy characters who play politics with taxpayer money need to go.
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