White House Staffers Denied Clearance Eligibility
Lost in all of the sensationalism and political rancor of the last few months is the fact that FBI Background Investigators have been quietly gathering information on White House staffers who must undergo the security clearance process just like the rest of us. Quietly, that is, until now! Politico posted a news story about six staffers who did not pass muster and were walked out of the White House. Of course no details were provided as to what issues led to this action, as that information is not releasable, but it is comforting to know that they were held to the same standards as you and I.
I would love to be a fly on the wall to witness some of the goings-on in this turbulent governmental transition. Regarding these staffers, the first thing that popped into my mind is, why were they allowed to occupy a position inside the White House before filling out the SF-86 and having it reviewed? Other questions are: were they granted interim access? Was an investigation request submitted before they were cleared to work? Were they fingerprinted and had a National Agency Check favorably completed? These are all requirements for an interim.
In related news, an aide for the recently resigned National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was denied approval for SCI access by the CIA. At least these particular cases did not impact the huge backlog of cases at OPM since the FBI does not handle OPM background investigations. Comments from the field indicate the security clearance process is still moving at a glacial pace and still not much information is forthcoming out of the NBIB as to when they will start making any significant progress. The only thing we can do is remain positive, be flexible, and keep your options open.