(Washington, DC) – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) sent a letter to the Inspector General of the Department of Commerce regarding evidence that she disclosed the identity of a whistleblower.
“The committee has received a very serious allegation that you may have disclosed the identity of a whistleblower whose claims against you and other senior members of your office are being investigated by the Committee,” Lucas and Lofgren wrote. “As an Inspector General, you must understand the importance of protecting whistleblower anonymity as well as the fact that purposefully disclosing a whistleblower’s identity can, in some circumstances, constitute a violation of law.”
The Committee received evidence that the Inspector General recently shared an unredacted letter from the Committee with several colleagues, thereby disclosing the identity of a whistleblower. That letter requested documents and communications to further the Committee’s investigation of claims that the Inspector General has engaged in whistleblower retaliation and misconduct.
“This letter contained personally identifiable information such as the names of individuals and references to testimony they have provided to the committee,” Lucas and Lofgren wrote. “This information was included for the purpose of obtaining specific documents for the Committee’s investigation, not for wide distribution. The extensive redactions in the committee’s public release of the letter reflect the level of sensitivity surrounding this information.”
“It is important for the Committee to know exactly who within your office received an unredacted copy of the June 6th letter to determine if any impropriety or violations of law occurred,” they continued. “Please respond no later than June 20, 2023, with the names of the individuals who were sent an unredacted copy of the Committee’s June 6th letter by you, and any others who have seen an unredacted copy of the Committee’s letter.”