Cummings Investigates Alarming Report of Violent Criminals Being Given Security Clearances

Oct 6, 2017
Press Release

Cummings Investigates Alarming Report of

Violent Criminals Being Given Security Clearances


Washington, DC (Oct. 6, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released a letter to the White House, the Director of National Intelligence, the National Background Investigations Bureau, and the Defense Security Services following alarming statements from Defense Security Services Director Daniel Payne that “murderers,” “rapists,” and “pedophiles” are currently being given access to sensitive classified information through interim security clearances.


“Obviously, it is completely unacceptable to be granting access to classified information to individuals who pose such grave national security risks, and it is vital that we put our national security first when making decisions about security clearances,” Cummings wrote.  “Because of the urgency of this matter, I ask that you respond to this request by October 10, 2017.”


The Committee’s Subcommittee on National Security is scheduled to hold a hearing on security clearances on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.


On September 6, 2017, Payne warned during a speech at the Intelligence and National Security Summit, which was hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, that the current situation is “extremely dangerous.”  He stated:  


“On a weekly basis, I got murderers who have access to classified information.  I have murderers.  I have rapists.  I have pedophiles.  I have people involved in child porn.  I have all these things at the interim clearance level and I’m pulling their clearances on a weekly basis.  This is the risk we are taking.  We are giving those people access to classified information with only a minimum amount of investigation.”


Watch the full video here.


Cummings requested that Payne, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats provide a wide range of documents relating to this issue, including specific information about any individuals with criminal convictions or others with serious security risks who have been granted interim security clearances.


Click here to read today’s letter. 

115th Congress