Adam Lovinger, the Trump-supporting Pentagon analyst stripped of his security clearance, has lost his appeal.
A Defense Department administrative judge denied his request, finding after a closed-hearing that he mishandled secrets. The Personnel Security Appeal Board agreed in a final decision.
Mr. Lovinger, who remains suspended without pay, has one last shot.
He has filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint with the Defense Department inspector general against his then-boss, James Baker, Director of the Office of Net Assessment (ONA). If the IG concludes he was a victim, then the secretary of defense would reinstate his security clearance.
Mr. Lovinger’s supporters expressed shock at the judge’s opinion. They said the judge appeared to ignore all of the analyst’s evidence that he was a victim of reprisal and didn’t breach security rules.
For example, he was found to have carried a classified document on an airline flight. But supporters say his accusers have never proven it was in fact classified.
The Pentagon ONA, where Mr. Lovinger worked for 12 years, moved to revoke his clearance while he was detailed to the White House National Security Council in 2017, where he supported President Trump’s policies. He returned to the Pentagon and lost his clearance that May.
Mr. Lovinger had sent internal emails complaining about how Mr. Baker ran ONA . He said it commissioned too many academic-style papers instead of producing classified net assessments of future threats.
One of those he complained about was Stefan Halper, the Washington academic who turned out to be an FBI informant in the Trump-Russia probe.
Mr. Halper earned more than $1 million in DoD contracts since 2012.
In London, where he is a professor, Mr. Halper made contact with two Trump campaign volunteers, George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. What ever Mr. Halper reported back to his FBI handlers it must not have been incriminating. Neither was charged and both professed their innocence in any conspiracy.
“As it turns out, one of the two contractors Mr. Lovinger explicitly warned his ONA superiors about misusing in 2016 was none other than Mr. Halper,” his attorney, Sean Bigley, wrote in an ethics complaint last year. It called the contracts “cronyism and corruption.”
Mr. Bigley declined to comment on the appeals decisions.