- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 20, 2018

The federal government has been infiltrated by socialists and communists, but don’t take Joseph McCarthy’s word for it. Ask Government Accountability Office auditor Natarajan Subramanian.

In a Project Veritas undercover video released Thursday by conservative activist James O’Keefe, Mr. Subramanian, a self-identified communist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, said he works on DSA projects during work hours as part of the anti-Trump resistance.

He also said he is hardly the only DSA member employed by the federal government.

“A number of DSA people are federal employees,” he said on the video. “Like, a fair number of our chapter is just because it’s the biggest in the area.

“You see people from various agencies, usually executive branch,” he said.

One of his DSA colleagues is a Defense Department contractor.

“I have a friend who works as a contractor for the DOD, and he has a [top secret] clearance, and he’s really active in DSA,” said Mr. Subramanian, adding that his friend works on Syria “war-planning stuff.”

He said government employees can resist administration policies by foot-dragging. “You can slow-ball things to a degree,” and while you might be disciplined, “you slowed them down for a certain period of time,” he said.

Who belongs to the DSA?

“We have a bunch of communists, no prefix, and that’s basically me,” Mr. Subramanian said. “We have some folks who are Trotskyists or Leninists.”

GAO spokesman Charles Young said the department planned to investigate the questions about Mr. Subramanian’s activism raised by the undercover sting.

“We are aware of the video and investigating the serious issues it raises, and we have also communicated with the inspector general,” Mr. Young said in an email.

Later, the GAO said Mr. Subramanian had been “removed from any ongoing GAO work and cut off from access to GAO equipment.” The investigation, the agency said, would include a review of “his work product.”

Mr. Subramanian’s work for the Metro DC DSA, a political organization that endorses candidates, would appear to violate rules that bar federal employees from working on political causes, much less engaging in activism during office hours.

Mr. Subramanian said his union and some co-workers are aware of his DSA activism and are “big fans,” but he said he was deliberately vague about his involvement on federal disclosure forms. He listed the group as a “social welfare” organization.

“I have informed them, I filed all the paperwork I needed to file, I was purposely a little bit vague about what kind of organization it is. … It wasn’t like [I said], ‘It’s a socialist organization, and we want to destroy capitalists,’” he said on the video.

Mr. Subramanian acknowledged that he could be fired for working on DSA projects at the office, but that hasn’t stopped him.

“I’m in the clear. No one knows I spent six hours yesterday doing social media for DSA,” he told the Project Veritas investigator.

Other Project Veritas videos released this week as part of its “Deep State Unmasked” series have featured interviews with DSA activists employed by the State Department and Justice Department who also work on the resistance.

The first video, released Tuesday, highlighted Stuart Karaffa, a State Department employee and another DSA member. Mr. Karaffa said on camera that he wants to “[mess things] up.”

“I have nothing to lose. It’s impossible to fire federal employees,” he said as he talked about doing political work at his cubicle.

He said he waits until 5:30 p.m. to start sending out Democratic Socialists messages.

“I’m careful about it. I don’t leave a paper trail, like I leave emails, and like any press s—- that comes up I leave that until after 5:30,” he said. “But as soon as 5:31 hits, got my like draft messages ready to send out.”

The State Department declined to comment on Mr. Karaffa specifically but said in a statement, “We take seriously any allegation of a violation of the Hatch Act and financial disclosure rules and are closely reviewing this matter.”

On another video, a Justice Department paralegal bragged about using her job to help advance the political agenda of the DSA.

Allison Hrabar said in the video released Wednesday that she found the address of a Washington lobbyist by running his license plate at work, which she then used to organize a DSA protest outside his home.

She admitted that she was not permitted to do so “officially.”

Ms. Hrabar, who drew headlines in June for helping chase Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen from a Mexican restaurant, had no concerns about losing her job.

“What’s kind of lucky is at the DOJ, we can’t really get fired,” she said.

The Justice Department said Wednesday that it would investigate.

“These allegations are deeply concerning,” the department said. “Department policy prohibits misuse of government resources to advance personal interests. We are looking into this immediately and have referred this matter to the inspector general as well.”

The same video showed Jessica Schubel, formerly with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, talking on hidden camera about her efforts to undermine the Trump administration.

Ms. Schubel, now an analyst with the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said her former co-workers pass along confidential government information in what she described as a “kind of like the Nixon Deep Throat thing.”

Project Veritas has long come under criticism for its undercover sting operations, but Mr. O’Keefe has defended the organization’s work as in the best traditions of investigative journalism.

“For years, the public has been at most only nebulously aware of the permanent administrative state. Only recently have we begun calling it the ‘deep state,’” Mr. O’Keefe said in a statement. “And with this series, we’ve begun exposing who these individuals undermining our government really are.”

⦁ Rowan Scarborough contributed to this report.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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