Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter about Sharpley to Intelligence Committee leaders.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a letter about Sharpley to Intelligence Committee leaders. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

A Delay in the Confirmation of Trump’s CIA Watchdog Nominee is Looking More Likely

Whistleblowers go public claiming Sharpley misled Congress on pending reprisal complaints.

The acting CIA inspector general President Trump has nominated for the permanent job raised some eyebrows at last month’s confirmation hearing when he suggested he was unfamiliar with three unresolved whistleblower reprisal complaints involving him or his office.

Two of the former CIA IG employees involved in the complaints against Christopher Sharpley have now allowed their names to be published by reporters; the new legal nonprofit called Whistleblower Aid has taken them on as its first two cases.

Additionally, two senators active in whistleblower issues are awaiting a decision from the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding a letter they sent on Oct. 25 arguing against Sharpley’s quick confirmation and pointing to problems at the CIA IG’s office.

Disputing an article by the Project on Government Oversight referenced at his Oct. 17 hearing, Sharpley told senators, “I’m unaware of any open investigations on me, the details of any complaints about me.”

Now on the public record are details of the pending complaints of alleged career-damaging actions by CIA IG staff against former CIA IG special agents Jonathan Kaplan, 59, and Andrew Bakaj, as reported on Monday by the Associated Press.

Kaplan, according to an Oct. 30 letter sent from Whistleblower Aid executive director John Napier Tye to leaders of the Senate Intelligence panel, said that Sharpley “deliberately misled Congress in his sworn testimony.” Sharpley, the letter quotes whistleblower Kaplan as saying, “has been dishonest with this committee about Mr. Sharpley’s personal knowledge of multiple whistleblower reprisal investigations in which Mr. Sharpley is named.”

That story followed a Nov. 1 report from the nonprofit investigative news service ProPublica that provided additional detail. It spoke of a rift between the CIA IG and the broader intelligence community inspector general. “More broadly,” this report said, the two cases “raise questions about how well intelligence agencies are implementing policies that were introduced to protect whistleblowers after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was charged with espionage for leaking classified documents.”

Whistleblower Aid leader Tye highlighted to Government Executive an exhibit attached to his letter to senators. It is an affidavit, “literally signed by Sharpley,” showing that Sharpley is aware of details of the Kaplan whistleblower reprisal case, he said.

Asked for comment on Monday, CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani reiterated to Government Executive his past statement characterizing Sharpley as having a “sterling five-year career at CIA” without any findings of wrongdoing or misconduct. With 36 years of investigative, law enforcement and IG experience, Sharpley has “created two IG offices from scratch within the federal government,” the statement said. “His credentials and qualifications to be CIA IG are obvious and substantial.  We look forward to his quick and justified confirmation.” 

After Sharpley told senators at his hearing that he was not familiar with any open probes, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Oct. 25 sent a tough letter to intel panel Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and ranking member Mark Warner, D-Va. “We do not believe the Senate should confirm individuals to executive branch leadership positions, particularly to head an inspector general’s office, while whistleblower reprisal complaints against them are pending,” they wrote. “In addition, our offices have received complaints that the component IGs in the intelligence community, including and in some cases particularly the CIA OIG, have strongly resisted the oversight role of the IC IG and the mandate to investigate reprisal claims, and have caused substantial delays in reprisal investigations.”

Kaplan’s complaint is under investigation by the CIA IG, while Bakaj’s is being probed by the watchdog for the Homeland Security Department. The Senate panel has not set a date for a vote on Sharpley, and Burr’s staff did not respond to requests for comment by publication time.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.