Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Mike Turner (R-OH), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pressing the Department of Defense for accountability and answers regarding the unauthorized disclosure of classified materials.
In the letter, the Chairmen wrote, “We must ensure national security is not further endangered or harmed by similar crimes happening in the future.”
The full text of the letter is below:
The world has watched as classified national security secrets leaked widely and precipitously across the internet. The unauthorized disclosures appear extensive. The period over which they occurred unnoticed by government authorities is lengthy. Americans and our allies are asking how such a serious leak was able to occur with such ease and breadth.
While mindful that a broader law enforcement investigation is ongoing, it is imperative that the Committees responsible for congressional oversight have immediate access to all relevant and pertinent information necessary to inform the Committees’ determination of whether this incident might be corrected or prevented in the future through legislation or other policy-related adjustments. We must ensure national security is not further endangered or harmed by similar crimes happening in the future.
To this end, please provide the following documents, no later than May 1, 2023, to assist the Committees in investigating this serious breach:
- All documents and records associated with the authority to access classified information and the level and extent of access to such information by the Air National Guardsman arrested for allegedly being the source of the unauthorized disclosures;
- Any documents reflecting the procedures and protections in place at the suspect’s employment base of Otis National Guard Base in Massachusetts for securing classified information;
- All documents and records associated with any Department of Defense (“Department”) review of security procedures at Otis National Guard Base, including any information related to previous security incidents at the base surrounding unauthorized disclosure of classified information;
- Any Department analysis to date concerning the extent and scope of the classified leak, including other documents that may still be at risk of disclosure;
- Any assessment of other individuals who may have had knowledge or assisted in the current unauthorized disclosure;
- The universe of all classified documents, whether official government records or pertaining to or describing official government records, including any created or summarized by the subject Air National Guardsman, which concern the current investigation related to unauthorized national security disclosures; and,
- Any written assessment by the Department concerning operational ramifications of the current classified leaks.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this request. The Committee on Armed Services, under Rule X, clause 1 of the Rules of the House of Representatives (House Rules), maintains oversight jurisdiction over the Department of Defense generally. Moreover, under the House Rules, the Committee derives its authority to conduct oversight from, among other things, clause 2(b)(1) of Rule X (relating to general oversight responsibilities), clause 3(b) of Rule X (relating to special oversight functions), and clause 1(b) of Rule XI (relating to investigations and studies). Pursuant to clause 11 of Rule X, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has oversight and legislative jurisdiction of the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the Department of Defense.
To arrange delivery of documents or ask any related follow-up questions, please contact Ryan Breitenbach of the Committee on Armed Services Majority Staff and Kelly Repair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.