The Pentagon Inspector General, Glenn Fine, has opened an investigation on James Baker, the director of the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA). Baker is a holdover from the Obama era and the investigation will probe charges that he is retaliating against a whistleblower.
Adam Lovinger is a senior ONA official and sources say he warned consultants about “rigged” contracts within the ONA. This included politically-connected deal such as one that Lovinger disclosed with a contractor who Chelsea Clinton has called her “best friend.”
Whistleblowers are protected under Presidential Policy Directive-19. It specifically states that it “prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.”
Former Assistant Secretary of defense Richard Perle is just one of many people who have come forward to speak on Lovinger’s behalf. He revealed that the reprisal for Lovinger’s disclosures has been brutal;
“He’s been treated so badly. It’s a disgrace.” Perle said Baker is “a shallow and manipulative character that should have gone with the change in administration.”
Lovinger’s decision to protest against $11.2 million in contracts awarded to Long Term Strategic Group (LTSG) is likely what caused so much trouble for him. The company is owned by Jacqueline Newmyer, a childhood friend of Chelsea Clinton. The two were in each other’s weddings.
Sean Bigley, Lovinger’s attorney alleges that Baker kept up the contract with LTSG in expectation of favorable status in the case of a Clinton presidency;
“We submit that Baker’s interest was his awareness of the LTSG-Clinton connection; his presumptive desire to exploit that to his advantage in the event of a Clinton election win; and the fact that contractors like LTSG served as a lucrative landing pad for ONA retirees.”
Lovinger was a highly respected and even awarded person at the ONA until 2017. That is when Baker began rating Lovinger’s performance poorly. It is also when Lovinger raised the issue of ONA’s dependence on outside contractors.
Since then Baker has charged Lovinger at least four times although some were dropped when challenged by Lovinger’s lawyer.
Investigations like this are extremely rare and indicate the Inspector General has sufficient reason to believe something truly occurred within ONA. The Inspector General’s office will not comment on an ongoing investigation.
Source: The Daily Caller