May 6, 2020

Senator Wyden Opposes Senior Intelligence Official’s Nomination Over Whistleblowers

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) opposed William Evanina’s nomination to serve as the Senate-confirmed Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC). Sen. Wyden’s opposition comes days after Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) lifted his 2018 hold on Mr. Evanina, placed in part because “Mr. Evanina was responsible for developing policies and procedures to address retaliatory security clearance actions” taken against whistleblowers. Mr. Evanina has yet to produce those policies and procedures, leaving government investigators with little guidance.

Government Accountability Project’s National Security Analyst Irvin McCullough said,

“Losing your security clearance means losing your livelihood for many Intelligence Community employees. The whistleblowing protections were specifically designed to give special care to whistleblowers whose security clearances are revoked in retaliation for making protected disclosures. However, the Director of National Intelligence never implemented uniform policies and procedures for these whistleblowers, meaning agencies can act as their own fiefdoms when adjudicating these complaints. While a whistleblower at the CIA has the same rights as a whistleblower at the NSA, one may find it much harder to enforce their rights simply because their agency is free to apply harsher standards than the other. That is unacceptable. Bill Evanina was directed to issue universal guidance for all agencies to follow when investigating these types of retaliation complaints, but he hasn’t done it. While Mr. Evanina is a dedicated public servant who has contributed greatly to our country’s national security, this is his job, and he needs to do it. I thank Senator Wyden for exercising his power to protect whistleblowers and ensure accountability inside the Intelligence Community.”

Contact: Andrew Harman, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 457-0034 x156

Government Accountability Project

Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.