A top GOP Senator called for the immediate ouster of the “gender-fluid” Biden administration official who reportedly stole a woman’s luggage at an airport.
In a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Tuesday, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member John Barrasso (R-WY) demanded the immediate ouster of Sam Brinton, the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Department of Energy. Barrasso also demanded that Brinton’s security clearance be immediately revoked. Brinton was charged with felony theft last month after allegedly stealing a woman’s luggage at the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) International Airport.
“It is in the interest of both the Department’s mission and our national security that the Deputy Assistant Secretary’s clearance be immediately revoked,” Barrasso wrote. “Additionally, the Department should undertake all necessary steps to terminate their employment immediately.”
“[I]t is imperative executive branch officials are free of a history of conduct unbecoming of federal service,” Barrasso continued, citing a letter he had previously written expressing his concerns about the Department of Energy’s process for granting security clearances. “The Department’s inability to respond to my concerns regarding the DOE’s clearance process is indicative of an egregious inattention to potential insider threats within the Department and the greater safety of the American public.” Barrasso demanded a full review of the Department’s clearance screening process by February 1.
Barasso also attached a list of questions for Granholm. The first line of questioning was related specifically to Brinton. First, Barrasso asked the secretary to “describe in detail any security issues that arose in the course of Sam Brinton’s background investigation and security clearance adjudication.”
a. Who was ultimately responsible for the approval of Sam Brinton’s security
b. Does the Department plan to launch its own internal review of its clearance
process as a result of the charges brought against Sam Brinton?
c. Beyond administrative leave, what punitive actions has the Department taken as a
result of this incident?
i. Please describe in detail the disciplinary process when employees are
found to have engaged in criminal activity.
Brinton was charged with felony theft in October after he allegedly stole a woman’s luggage at the Minneapolis-St.Paul airport. Records and video surveillance showed the suitcase belonged to a female passenger who flew into the MSP on a Delta flight from New Orleans. According to a report, she notified law enforcement that her bag and the contents inside — valued at around $2,325 — had gone missing in the baggage claim area on the same day Brinton allegedly took the luggage.
Nearly three weeks later, the criminal complaint alleges that video surveillance footage from Dulles International Airport in Virginia captured Brinton returning from Europe with the bag on October 9.
Authorities contacted Brinton that same day, asking if he “took anything that did not belong” to him.
“Not that I know of,” Brinton allegedly responded, but later admitted he took the bag that allegedly had clothes inside belonging to him.
“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual. That was my clothes when I opened the bag,” he told police, according to the complaint.
Brinton is scheduled to appear in court on December 19 in Hennepin County.
Brandon Drey contributed to this report.