Washington Examiner

GOP senators want DOD to probe spy balloon leak targeting Biden’s rivals.

Republican Senators Call for Investigation into Classified Information Leak

A group of Republican senators is urging the Department of Defense to investigate a leak of classified information regarding the discovery of the Chinese spy balloon. The alleged leak likened President Joe Biden’s handling of the balloon to that of previous administrations.

Senators Tom Cotton, Bill Hagerty, Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, Ted Budd, James Lankford, Eric Schmitt, Thom Tillis, Roger Marshall, and Roger Wicker are calling for an investigation into Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl’s handling of classified information. The senators believe that Kahl may have intentionally leaked the information for partisan political purposes.

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The senators previously accused Kahl of leaking classified information about the Chinese spy balloon in March and requested an FBI investigation in April. They have now sent the matter to the Department of Defense.

The letter from the senators lists the punishments required for the supposed violation, stating that “intentionally leaking classified information is a violation of U.S. law, as well as a violation of the Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement (SF-312) that Kahl signed.”

The information in question was classified information about prior Chinese balloon incursions, which the Republican senators claimed was intended to make the incursion look less severe than it was.

Punishments for Violating Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement

  • Termination of security clearance
  • Up to ten years in prison for willful unauthorized disclosure
  • Prohibition of use of one’s official position in the executive branch for partisan political purposes

The senators are calling for a thorough investigation into Kahl’s handling of classified information and for appropriate consequences if he is found to have intentionally leaked the information for political gain.

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