MAGA Rioter Had Top Secret Security Clearance AND A Rap Sheet? Yeah, Don't Faint.
Remember Freddie Two Hats, that dipshit who lost his hat during the Capitol Insurrection, picked another one up off the floor, jammed it on his head, and figured he was sufficiently incognito that the cops would never track him down? Only he forgot that every cop in the place, including the one he allegedly hit with a purloined riot shield, was wearing a body cam. Also half the rioters were livestreaming the event for posterity. DOH!
It didn't take long for Johnny Law to work out that the guy with the "distinctive teeth" was Federico Guillermo Klein, a longtime Republican operative and, until January 19, 2021, a State Department employee with Top Secret Clearance.
But wait, there's more. Look at this guy's rap sheet.
2/ Here are more criminal charges & arrests of Trump State Dept appointee Freddie Klein #seditionHunters… https://t.co/NRMFbjuaTk— Nate Thayer (@Nate Thayer)1614962621.0
Sure, some of that stuff is old — no one cares if the guy got arrested in 1998 for driving without a license, or busted for having beer as a kid. But the 2013 charges include crimes of both violence and theft, and he not only got his clearance in 2014, but got it renewed in 2019? What the hell is going on here?
It also begs the question of what exactly a guy with a security clearance — which would presumably open the door to more lucrative employment — was doing working as a Trump campaign staffer for the princely sum of $15,000. Just how blindingly incompetent is this asshole?
And while we're on the subject of questionable security clearances, let's circle back to something that happened almost exactly two years ago when Democrats took control the House of Representatives. House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (may his name be for blessing) immediately subpoenaed Carl Kline, the Trump appointee who overruled career staff to greenlight dozens of security clearances after career staff said NFW. According to whistleblower Tricia Newbold, a career clearance reviewer, Kline improperly suspended her for two weeks in retaliation for her refusal to go along with his extra-procedural diktats, and even went so far as to put files she'd need for work on high shelves so that Newbold, who has congenital dwarfism, could not reach them.
Here's what we wrote two years ago about Kline's infamous decision to grant Jared and Vanky clearances despite the professional staff saying AWWW HELLLLLL NO:
Indeed, the president can override the security adjudication. But the adjudicators can't just ignore "serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct" on their own -- no, not even if they just want to make Donald Trump really, really happy by saving him the trouble of having to mute the television for five minutes to scribble, "Merry Christmas, Jared. Enjoy the classified intel. Love, Poppy."
Newbold described several specific instances of clearance fuckery, including Senior White House Official 1 -- call him, say, "Kared Jushner" -- who "revealed significant disqualifying factors, including foreign influence, outside activities ('employment outside or businesses external to what your position at the EOP entails'), and personal conduct." Kline gave Jushner a thumbs up anyway, since "the activities occurred prior to Federal service." (Seriously!) And when Jushner applied for a higher level of clearance -- call it "Secured Compartmental Information" -- the second reviewing agency -- call it "the CIA" -- called up Newbold to ask WHO THE HELL gave Jushner the lower level clearance in the first place.
And you know what? We're still mad about it, and we'd still like to know what happened there.
The White House Counsel's office refused to comply with the committee's document subpoenas and initially refused to let Kline be interviewed at all. Later he did testify, refusing to answer many of the committee's questions other than to insist that no one at the White House had ever leaned on him to grant clearances to Princess Goya von Nepotism and the Royal Consort.
Which ... LOL, sure.
But what with our buddy Fredo and his possibly hinky clearance in the news, it seems like now might be a good time to come back around to those definitely hinky clearances and find out exactly what the hell happened in the White House Personnel Office under the previous occupant.
Hey, House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney, YOU UP?
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.