State Department Had No Permanent Inspector General During Entirety Of Hillary Clinton’s Tenure

State Department Lacked Top Watchdog During Hillary Clinton Tenure – Wall Street Journal

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The State Department had no permanent inspector general – the lead watchdog charged with uncovering misconduct and waste – during Hillary Clinton’s entire tenure as secretary, leaving in place an acting inspector who had close ties to State Department leadership.

President Barack Obama didn’t put forward a nominee to lead the inspector general’s office while Mrs. Clinton led the State Department, making it the only agency with a presidentially appointed inspector general that had neither a confirmed nor nominated head watchdog during that full time period.

Five months after Mrs. Clinton left office, Mr. Obama nominated a permanent inspector general, who was confirmed by the Senate three months later.

The lack of a confirmed inspector general raises questions about oversight of the department under Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton. The department has been criticized for its failure to gather and archive the email records of Mrs. Clinton and other officials and for responses to public-record requests that lawmakers and advocacy groups say were insufficient, including its response to requests for information from a congressional panel investigating the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.

The vacancy in the top watchdog spot left the State Department with no confirmed inspector general for more than five years, the longest gap since the position was created in 1957, according to department records. While other agencies have had no permanent inspectors general at various points in recent years, some of those vacancies were due to a lack of confirmation by the Senate on nominees put forward by Mr. Obama.

Is isn’t clear whether Mrs. Clinton had any role in the lack of a nomination.

The acting inspector general, Harold Geisel, had served in a variety of roles, including U.S. ambassador to Mauritius in Bill Clinton’s administration and in a State Department job under Richard Nixon. Because he was a longtime foreign-service officer, Mr. Geisel was banned by law from becoming permanent inspector general, a prohibition that Congress put in place to ensure that oversight is conducted by people who don’t have ties to the departments they investigate.

“It’s a convenient way to prevent oversight,” said Matthew Harris, a University of Maryland University College professor who has worked in law enforcement and researches inspectors general. Acting inspectors general “don’t feel empowered; they don’t have the backing of their people. They’re in a position where they could be removed at any moment,” Mr. Harris said.

Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Mr. Geisel’s role as a Clinton administration ambassador undercut his status as a watchdog.

“We did not believe he could be truly independent. We raised the issue that the lack of a permanent IG was a problem,” Mr. Royce said. He said an independent inspector would likely have uncovered and raised objections to Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email account and computer server for official correspondence.

“A permanent IG would have objected to her efforts to circumvent congressional oversight by keeping her emails off the books,” Mr. Royce said.

A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Nick Merrill, said Mr. Geisel “was a career official spanning Republican and Democratic administrations alike, independent and hard-hitting. As it should be.” A spokesman for the State Department said Mr. Geisel led a team that “conducted more investigations between 2007 and 2012 than the IG had under his predecessor.”

The White House declined to elaborate on reason for the lack of an appointment. A White House spokesman said the inspector general’s office issued more than 450 reports while there was no permanent head in place.

Mr. Geisel, assuming his tenure would be short-lived, said he did little to decorate his office. “I never even put up a picture,” he said in an interview. After his five-year stint as watchdog, the State Department gave him a paid temporary assignment reviewing staffing conditions at outposts in Egypt and Nairobi, Mr. Geisel said.

Designed to be isolated from political pressure, inspectors general are tasked with uncovering waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement of federal agencies. The State Department office has a large staff that conducts audits and investigations.

During Mr. Geisel’s tenure, members of Congress and independent watchdog groups raised questions about his distance from top leadership at the State Department.

The nonpartisan Project On Government Oversight said Mr. Geisel had an unduly close relationship with Patrick F. Kennedy, the department’s undersecretary for management, a top post. In a 2010 letter to the White House, the group cited friendly emails between the two as evidence of a close relationship, as well as the fact that Mr. Geisel recused himself from an investigation into a situation involving Mr. Kennedy at one point during his tenure.

Asked whether he believed he was compromised in his ability to do his job, Mr. Geisel said: “My work absolutely speaks for itself.” He described his mission as “telling the truth that needs to be told, which may not be the truth that people want to hear.”

One person who worked in the office from 2009 to 2013, Evelyn Klemstine, spoke highly of Mr. Geisel. “I personally never felt that he inhibited any of the audits that we did,” she said.

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Inspector General: 6.5M Dead People Have Active Social Security Numbers

IG Audit: 6.5M Dead People Have Active Social Security #s – Sweetness & Light

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From CNS News:

IG Audit: 6.5 Million People With Active Social Security Numbers Are 112 or Older

By Susan Jones | March 9, 2015

(CNSNews.com) – …[The Social Security Administration’s] inspector general has identified 6.5 million number-holders age 112 – or older – for whom no death date has been entered in the main electronic file, called Numident. The audit, dated March 4, 2015, concluded that SSA lacks the controls necessary to annote [sic] death information on the records of number-holders who exceed “maximum reasonable life expectancies.” “We obtained Numident data that identified approximately 6.5 million numberholders born before June 16, 1901 who did not have a date of death on their record,” the report states.

Some of the numbers assigned to long-dead people were used fraudulently to open bank accounts. And thousands of those numbers apparently were used by illegal immigrants to apply for work…

They are just doing the jobs that dead Americans won’t do. (And voting for candidates that dead Americans won’t vote for.)

“During Calendar Years 2008 through 2011, SSA received 4,024 E-Verify inquiries using the SSNs of 3,873 numberholders born before June 16, 1901,” the report said. “These inquiries indicate individuals’ attempts to use the SSNs to apply for work.”…

And these law breakers will be rewarded for their crimes with over $35,000 per family from the IRS for their illegal activities.

“Tens of thousands of these numbers are currently being used to report wages to the Social Security Administration and to the IRS. People are fraudulently, but successfully, applying for jobs and benefits with these numbers. Making sure Social Security cleans up its death master file to prevent future errors and fraud is a good government reform we can all agree on,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee…

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the committee’s ranking member, called the findings a “major problem” that wastes taxpayers’ money, exposes citizens to identity theft and undermines confidence in government:

“It is simply unacceptable that our nation’s database of Social Security numbers of supposedly living people includes more than six and a half million people who are older than 112 years of age, with a few thousand having birth dates from before the Civil War. Preventing agency errors by keeping track of who has died is a relatively simple problem that the government should pursue as a high priority.”…

Why would they? The administration wants as many people on the voting roles as possible. And the quickest way to get them there is to give them Social Security numbers.

The IG made four recommendations for resolving the discrepancies and improving the accuracy of the Death Master File to “prevent future misuse of these SSNs.”

Which will be studiously ignored. Just like all of the other recommendations to stop the fraud perpetuated by Obama’s people.

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IRS Inspector General Now Undertaking Criminal Investigation Into Lois Lerner’s “Missing” Emails

IRS Watchdog Reveals Lois Lerner Missing Emails Now Subject Of Criminal Probe – Washington Times

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The IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.

Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.

“There is potential criminal activity,” Mr. Camus said.

He said they have also discovered the hard drives from the IRS’s email servers, but said because the drives are out of synch it’s not clear whether they will be able to recover anything from them.

“To date we have found 32,744 unique emails that were backed up from Lois Lerner’s email box. We are in the process of comparing these emails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails,” Mr. Camus said.

Democrats questioned the independence of Inspector General J. Russell George, who is overseeing the investigation, saying he’s injected politics into his work.

Rep. Gerald Connolly, Virginia Democrat, said Mr. George is refusing to turn documents over to him, prompting a heated reply.

“You’re not entitled to certain documents,” Mr. George said.

“Oh really? We’ll see about that, won’t we,” Mr. Connolly replied, saying that he questioned whether Mr. George could be trusted if he’s refusing to provide documents, yet is in charge of an investigation into whether the IRS stonewalled document requests.

The hearing was the latest chapter in the complex investigation into the IRS’s targeting of tea party groups for special scrutiny.

Several congressional committees are still probing the matter, and both the inspector general and the Justice Department are conducting criminal investigations.

In a 2013 report, the inspector general said the IRS had improperly targeted conservative and tea party groups’ applications for nonprofit status, asking repeated intrusive questions and delaying their applications well beyond a reasonable time. Some of those groups are still waiting, with their applications now pending for years.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican and Oversight Committee chairman, said the ongoing investigations undercut President Obama’s assertion last year that there was no evidence of corruption in the IRS’s targeting.

“I have no idea how the president came to such a definitive conclusion without all the facts,” he said.

The IRS belatedly told Congress it may have lost some of Ms. Lerner’s emails after her computer crashed, and asserted that the backup tapes didn’t exist.

But under questioning from Mr. Chaffetz, Mr. Camus said it took him only two weeks to track down the backup tapes, and when he asked the IRS depository for them, the workers there said they’d never been contacted by the agency itself.

Republicans said that was stunning because IRS Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly assured Congress the emails were irretrievably lost.

“I think they have misled or lied to the committee,” said Rep. John L. Mica, Florida Republican.

Mr. Camus said they were clued in to the 424 new tapes they just found a couple of weeks ago after realizing the IRS hadn’t given over a key document. They demanded that document, and realized it showed hundreds of other tapes existed.

Democrats said the investigation has dragged on too long and been too expensive, pointing to the IRS’s estimate that it has spent $20 million on staff and equipment to try to comply with the committee’s request.

Ms. Lerner, who oversaw the unit of the IRS that scrutinized nonprofit groups’ applications, is a central figure in the investigations.

After belatedly discovering that some of her emails weren’t being recovered, the IRS did try to reconstitute them by asking other employees to dig through their emails to see if they were the recipients of any messages that involved her. That did produce some of the missing emails.

Democrats said the GOP seemed to be insinuating Ms. Lerner had purposely crashed her hard drive to hide emails – though she herself pushed to try to get messages recovered.

Democrats also questioned why the hearing was happening now, given that Mr. Camus and Mr. George both stressed that their findings are preliminary and could change as they learn more.

“It seems that the best course of action would be to have the inspector general come back when his report is complete,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the panel.

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30,000 Lois Lerner Emails Recovered By IRS Inspector General (Video)

Koskinen Lied: 30,000 Lois Lerner Emails Recovered By IRS Inspector General – Gateway Pundit

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IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform on March 26, 2014. Koskinen told Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) during the hearing that Loise Lerner’s emails were archived and it would take a long time to retrieve them.

In June the IRS told Congress Lois Lerner’s emails were lost in a computer crash.

There were audible gasps in the room on June 20,2014, when IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress that Lerner’s hard drive was tossed out. Koskinen testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the IRS conservative targeting scandal.

Via OutNumbered:

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But Lois Lerner’s emails were not lost as was reported. All of her emails were backed up by the federal government.

And 30,000 of her emails have been recovered.

Fox News reported:

Federal investigators have told Congress that they have recovered data that may include lost emails from one of the pivotal figures in the controversy over the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of tea party groups, congressional aides said Friday.

Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Republicans who run the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the investigators said at a staff briefing Friday that they have recovered up to 30,000 emails to and from Lois Lerner.

A statement from Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee was more measured. It said the investigators have recovered data that may include Lerner emails.

The investigators were from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which audits the IRS. A spokeswoman for the inspector general, Karen Kraushaar, declined to comment, saying the investigation was continuing.

The investigators ignited a political firestorm in May 2013 with a report saying that IRS agents had given exceptionally close scrutiny to tea party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.

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HHS Inspector General: 1,295,571 Obamacare Enrollees May Or May Not Be Legal Citizens

HHS Report: 1,295,571 Obamacare Enrollees May Or May Not Be Legal Citizens – Big Government

A devastating new Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General report released on Tuesday reveals that the Obama administration has yet to determine whether 1,295,571 of the over 8 million Obamacare enrollees are U.S. citizens lawfully in the country.

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The finding, located on page 11 of the report, states that 44% of the remaining 2,611,780 application “inconsistencies” are related to verifying “Citizenship/national status/lawful presence.” Another 960,492 application inconsistencies were related to verifying whether subsidy applicants provided accurate income information.

Moreover, the Inspector General report only covered the federal Obamacare exchanges to determine how the Obama administration resolved verification problems through December 2013. As for the 15 state-run Obamacare exchanges, the report says four–Oregon, Nevada, Vermont, and Massachusetts–are simply “unable to resolve inconsistencies.”

As the Washington Post reported in May, as many as one million Obamacare enrollees may be receiving incorrect taxpayer-funded subsidies due to Obamacare’s continued technical failures and inability to properly verify income and citizenship eligibility.

One year ago, conservatives warned that the Obama administration’s decision to use the so-called “honor system” for income eligibility was merely a backdoor way to get as many individuals on the public dole as possible.

The Office of Inspector General determined that “the federal marketplace was generally incapable of resolving most inconsistencies.”

Obamacare will cost U.S. taxpayers $2.6 trillion over the next ten years.

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Related article:

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HHS Inspector General Reports Millions Of Data Inconsistencies In Obamacare Applications – Washington Examiner

Applications for insurance coverage through President Obama’s health care law submitted in the final three months of 2013 contained millions of inconsistencies in which information such as income and immigration status could not be independently verified by the federal government, according to a June report from the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The inconsistencies may have resulted in individuals receiving an improper amount of subsidies, or subsidies that they shouldn’t have been eligible for in the first place – something that could require them to repay the money in future tax bills.

In other cases, inconsistencies led to bizarre outcomes. According to the report, “one marketplace cited situations in which infants and young children included on applications were erroneously identified as incarcerated.”

At issue is the information that individuals are asked to submit when they apply for coverage, such as income, citizenship status, Social Security number, or incarceration status. In theory, once data are submitted, they are supposed to be checked in a massive storage database known as the “hub,” which gathers data from multiple federal agencies.

“In some circumstances, the marketplace cannot verify an applicant’s information through available data sources,” the report explained. “When this happens, it is referred to as an inconsistency. This may arise when Federal data available through the Data Hub or data from other sources are unavailable or do not exist, or because the information on the application does not match the data received through the Data Hub or from other data sources.”

According to the HHS inspector general, applications submitted to the federal exchange in the opening months of Obamacare – October 2013 through December 2013 – contained over 2.9 million inconsistencies, of which more than 2.6 million, or 89 percent, remained unresolved as of Feb. 23, 2014.

To be clear, this does not mean that 2.9 million separate individual applications contained inconsistencies. Every applicant is prompted to answer a series of questions, and thus any given application can contain multiple inconsistencies. HHS could not provide data on the number of applications that included at least one, so there’s no way of saying what percentage of the total number of applications were affected. An inconsistency also doesn’t necessarily mean information is inaccurate, either, it just means it can’t be matched with available data.

The federal government has had an easier time resolving discrepancies related to Social Security numbers, while income and citizenship or lawful presence status have proven more challenging.

These numbers pertain only to the federal exchange that serve residents of 36 states, not the 15 states running their own exchanges.

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The HHS inspector general also received reports from 11 states running their own exchanges disclosing an additional 1.2 million inconsistencies, though the states could be counting differently and thus the federal and state numbers cannot be easily combined.

“During our review, 4 of the 15 State marketplaces reported that they were unable to resolve inconsistencies (Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Vermont),” the report read. “They attributed this inability to failures in their information technology systems.”

While the government is awaiting more documentation from individuals to resolve inconsistencies, those individuals are allowed to receive benefits for 90 days. However, according to the report, “because of the Federal marketplace’s inability to resolve most inconsistencies, we were unable to determine the number of applicants who may have exceeded the 90-day inconsistency period or for whom the inconsistency period was extended by the Federal marketplace because the applicant demonstrated a good-faith effort in obtaining satisfactory documentation.”

In a response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that most inconsistencies are still within the 90-day window, but that Obamacare gives the authority to the Secretary of HHS “to extend the 90-day inconsistency period for applications for coverage for 2014.”

The inspector general noted that resolving inconsistencies was considered a lower priority in the early months of the Obamacare rollout due to the pressing technical problems facing the website. But the report concluded that, “marketplaces must resolve inconsistencies to ensure that eligibility determinations for enrollment in (qualified health plans) and for insurance affordability programs are accurate.”

The report recommended that CMS “develop and make public a plan on how and by what date the Federal marketplace will resolve inconsistencies” and bolster oversight of state-based exchanges.

In its response, CMS said that the inconsistencies were to be expected.

“It is not surprising that there are inconsistencies between some information provided by application filers and the electronic data sources, and, in fact, this issue is addressed in the Affordable Care Act,” CMS wrote. “This is the first year that consumers have applied for coverage through the Marketplaces. Therefore, consumers are inexperienced with the eligibility process, which could lead to application mistakes.”

Some of the issues could be explained because different data is available, CMS said. “For example, the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) tax data is generally two years old (i.e., tax return information for 2012 is used to verify income attestations for coverage for 2014.),” according to CMS.

The few million inconsistencies represents a “small number” compared to the “hundreds of millions of possible data inconsistencies,” given that any application can contain over 20 different pieces of data.

CMS said it agreed with the inspector general’s recommendations and was continuing to resolve the inconsistencies – manually, at first, until it develops an automated system later in the summer.

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Unreal! Inspector General Says Suspected Terrorists Were Hired To Guard Consulate In Benghazi

Inspector General: Suspected Terrorists Hired To Guard Consulate In Benghazi – CNS

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Libyans suspected of bombing and vandalizing the U.S. consulate in Benghazi prior to the deadly attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens had been hired there as security guards by a British contractor, according to a report released June 13 by the State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG)

“One guard who had been recently fired and another guard on the company’s payroll were suspected of throwing a homemade bomb into the U.S. compound 6 months before the attacks,” according to the OIG report.

“In addition, according to the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Temporary Mission Facility in Benghazi had been vandalized and attacked in the months prior to the September 2012 attacks by some of the same guards who were there to protect it,” the report stated.

The Libyan guards were hired after “a casual recruiting and screening process” and received “minimal training,” according to a media reported cited in the audit of embassy security procedures in six countries.

The audit also found a criminal with “multiple false identities” working at a U.S. embassy due to limited oversight in the process required for vetting locals hired as security guards under the department’s $556 million Local Guard Program (LPG).

The guard “admitted to having a criminal history, which included two arrests and three cases of employing false identities to gain employment with local security contractors,” the OIG report stated.

A review of the guard’s personnel file, which “contained no local police background check,” also revealed ”an invalid current address, no explanation for travel outside of [redacted], incomplete details on previous work experience, false statements on having used other names, and criminal history.”

At the six embassies audited, whose locations were all redacted from the report, the OIG found “severe deficiencies” in the vetting process for embassy security guards.

In fact, none of the security contractors fully performed all of the vetting required under their contracts despite the fact that there were at least 272 significant attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel between 1998 and 2012, placing “embassies and personnel at risk,” the report said.

A typical vetting includes a “police check covering criminal and/or subversive activities, a credit check, proof of successful previous employment with supervisor recommendations, and a personal residence check.” But out of a sample of 48 files examined by the OIG, “19 (40 percent) did not have police checks.”

In some cases, vetting requirements were not completed during the transition time between contractors until more than two years after the security guards had been placed on duty, the report noted. Even basic information such as “addresses and employment were missing from the local guard personnel files.”

The results of background checks must be cleared by a regional security officer (RSO) before any local guards can begin work at an embassy.

However, the OIG found that the RSOs, who are responsible for final approval of foreign nationals hired as embassy security guards, “frequently could not demonstrate that they had reviewed and approved the local guards employed to protect their posts.”

In one instance, “the RSO could not produce an accurate listing of all the local guards who worked at the embassy, and the project manager for the security contractor received an embassy badge without undergoing a background investigation or RSO approval.”

In some cases, local privacy laws prevented security contractors from fulfillling all of the required vetting. Other obstacles in less developed countries included lack of credit reporting services or the availability of official records such as birth certificates, the report stated.

The Office of Inspector General urged that these obstacles be taken into account in the vetting requirements so that contractors could still perform thorough checks of all hirees.

“Without modifying the Local Guard Program contract to reflect local conditions and limitations,” the report said, “the Department cannot hold the security contractor accountable for adhering to all the vetting requirements contained in.”

The inspector general also found that the security contractor at one embassy invoiced $1.48 million of monthly $100 supplemental wages between 2010 and 2013 that were never paid to the local guards.

On average, State Dept. contractors failed to pay $298,000, or between 15 and 25 percent of the full supplemental wages due to local security guards since 2010, according to the OIG. The State Department has since clarified how the supplemental wages should be distributed, and the Bureau of Administration is in the process of deciding the total amount of monies owed.

The OIG made a number of recommendations to the embassies to beef up their security procedures, many of which have already been completed. But other embassies are still in the process of demonstrating full compliance, the report noted.

CNSNews.com contacted the State Department multiple times for comment but did not receive a response.

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Inspector General Report: 52 Felons Regularly Gained Access To Military Bases

Report: 52 Felons Gained Access To Military Bases – Big Government

A newly released Inspector General report reveals that convicted felons have gained access to United States military facilities on a regular basis. Monday morning, 12 people were murdered by a gunman who had authorized access to Washington’s Navy Yard.

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According to the report, “the problems in vetting contractors were related to budget cuts.” The report identified that 52 felons had unauthorized access to to military facilities for 62 to 1035 days. It states the Navy did not:

“follow federal credentialing standards and DOD contractor vetting requirements and did not provide 7 of the 10 installations visited the appropriate resources and capabilities to conduct required contractor background checks.”

A congressional aide told the Hill that budget cuts were not from the sequester, but resulted from military cuts before the sequester took place.

This is not the first time there has been a problem with vetting government contractors. Edward Snowden, who leaked enormous amounts of classified information to the world was also a government contractor. A Navy official claims the the security process faulted in the report were not the ones that gave Washington Naval Yard gunman access.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-LA) told reporters on Capitol Hill “It may be time for a [congressional] review to see how well these contractors are doing their jobs” regarding the vetting for sensitive security positions.

The report singles out a company named Eid Passport, who did not turn up felony convictions in the reports they issued on the background checks.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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