In a little-noticed story that broke on Friday night, it was reported that Jennifer Davis, Chief of Staff to UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (pictured above), has been reassigned because her security clearance was revoked.
According to the Politico article, Davis is a career foreign service officer, having worked for 18 years in the State Department with previous assignments in Mexico, Turkey, and Colombia.
The decision to revoke Davis’s clearance came after a three-year administrative investigation conducted by the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which conducts security background investigations to assess whether an individual should have access to classified information.
Davis “strongly contests the determination” and is “going to aggressively appeal this decision as quickly as possible,” a person close to her said.
According to Politico, the issue involves an interview Davis gave to a reporter, Amberin Zaman of the Middle Eastern-focused news outlet Al-Monitor. At the time Davis was serving as General Counsel in the US Embassy in Istanbul, and one subject in the interview involved questions about US officials in Turkey being “hassled and detained” by Turkish government authorities. In his article, Zaman called it a pressure campaign that would likely cause the United States to prevent Turkish government officials from visiting the U.S. in the future. Zaman reported that a list of officials likely to be affected had already been drafted, and in doing so he cited “sources close to the Donald Trump administration.”
Davis has apparently acknowledged that the reference is to her, as she has claimed through a third party speaking on her behalf that the information given to Zaman was not at all sensitive at the time, and was declassified soon after her discussion with the reporter.
Unfortunately, that acknowledgment contains two subjective judgments that were not hers to make — as to the level of “sensitivity” about the information given to a reporter, and that there was no harm in sharing it because it was thereafter declassified.
It was either “sensitive” or “not sensitive,” and that was not a judgment for her to make. And by her own admission, it was classified at the time she disclosed it to the reporter.
The fact that it was later declassified is irrelevant. The only relevant consideration is that she cannot be trusted with knowledge of classified information because she has demonstrated a willingness to substitute her judgment on disclosure for the judgment of the classifying authority which classified the information to begin with. That is a red-line over which persons with security clearances are to not cross.
Davis had been serving in the position informally as Acting Chief of Staff, but Politico’s story says she has been doing so without a security clearance which had been revoked at some point earlier. Without the clearance, Davis has not been able to work in the Ambassador’s Office and has been working from her home instead. The existence of the security investigation against her had prevented her from formally being hired into the position until the matter was resolved and her security clearance restored. But it appears now that the revocation is final — subject to her right to appeal — and that finality led her to stop working for the Ambassador even in a limited role early last week.
The Politico story notes that Davis is not the first Cabinet Officer Chief of Staff to be reassigned — less than 100 days into the Biden Administration.
Jennifer Van der Heide, who was the chief of staff to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, was removed by the White House last week after she planned a 50-person indoor party that the White House cancelled after concerns that a party she had planned to celebrate Haaland’s confirmation would become a superspreader event. She remains as a senior counselor at the department.
I can’t really fault Davis for being an idiot — she just broke a rule that someone in her position could not break, and the penalty was the loss of her security clearance.
Van der Heide, on the other hand, is an idiot.
“Senior Counselor” seems to be the title under which Biden Administration idiots are stashed until they can be sent back to George Soros to feed and care for.