March 23rd, 2008
02:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Passport contractor exec is Obama supporter

Passport contractors connected to Presidential campaigns.
Passport contractors connected to Presidential campaigns.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The CEO of a company whose employee is accused of improperly accessing the passport files of presidential candidates is a consultant to the Obama campaign, a source familiar with the firm said Saturday.

John Brennan, president of The Analysis Corporation (TAC), advises the Illinois Democrat on foreign policy and intelligence issues, the source said.

Brennan briefed the media on behalf of the campaign earlier this month. The executive is a former senior CIA official and former interim director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He contributed $2,300 to the Obama campaign in January.

When asked about the contribution, a State Department official told CNN's Zain Verjee, "We ethically awarded contacts. Political affiliation is not one of the factors that we check."

The department does not check the "personal activities of that nature of the officers of the corporation." Contracts are "competitively awarded," the official added.

On Friday, the department revealed that Obama's passport file was improperly accessed three times in 2008, and the passport files of the two other major presidential candidates - Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain - had also been breached.

Three contractors are accused in the wrongdoings, including the one who works for TAC, who was disciplined. That contractor accessed McCain's file in addition to Obama's. None of the contractors was identified.

The other two contractors, who worked for Stanley Inc., were fired. Stanley has had contracts with the department since 1992, and was recently awarded a $570 million contract to continue providing support for passport processing. Its CEO, Philip Nolan, contributed $1,000 to the Clinton campaign.

Stanley officials confirmed Friday that two of its employees had unauthorized access to Obama passport files. Both individuals were fired, according to a company statement.

"While this is a rare occurrence, we regret the unauthorized access of any individual's private information," the statement said.

The department official said the three contractors worked in three different offices in the Washington area that are involved in various functions. One office does consular work and visas on evenings, holidays, weekends and overnights; another office issues passports; the third office scans and files materials.

The source said there has been no problem "at all" in the past with the TAC employee, who has "extensive" experience. The worker has been at TAC for years, and during that time has always worked under a State Department contract.

Explaining that the department had "complimented" this person for work in the past, the source said the individual is considered a "terrific" employee, except for this one instance, which the source characterized as an "aberration."

The department asked TAC not to take any administrative action against the employee while the investigation is under way.

On Friday, the company released a statement saying it would fully cooperate with the federal probe. The source said TAC has told the employee to do the same.

Echoing the State Department spokesman Friday, this source said there is no indication the motivation was anything but idle curiosity.

The source said TAC first learned of its employee's actions Friday morning when it received a call from the State Department. In its statement, the firm confirmed that one of the contractors was an employee, and called it "an isolated incident."

The Washington Times - which first broke the story Thursday night that Obama's records had been improperly accessed - on Saturday reported that the State Department investigation is focusing on the TAC employee, and that the investigation by the department's Inspector General will include polygraph tests for supervisors in the passport section to determine if there was any political motive.

The department spokesman on Saturday said he would not comment on whether the
department was polygraphing employees in connection with the investigation.

Related: Watch Kate Bolduan on the passport breach developments

– CNN's Kate Bolduan and Zain Verjee

soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. John

    If it's true that the CEO of the company,who is a supporter of Obama and donated $ 2,300 for Obama's campaign;and is in anyway connected to rampaging through the two contenders p/p files then;it will be a honorable thing for Obama to step down.Americans are wondering what is next!

    March 22, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Lois

    Hillary Clinton, please release not only your tax returns but also your phone logs during your stay in the White House as 1st Lady. What pray tell are you trying to hide? Could it be that you're trying to secure yourself as the Dem nominee first? I'm not falling for it and I won't be duped THIS time. Obama speaks to my needs, America's needs and the world's needs. It's time to make that change.

    Obama '08

    March 22, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. ALBO

    The snooping was done by a employee and not by the company !!

    is any body suggesting that all these employees are Obama supporters ??

    It is a most stupid thing to link this issue with the company owner.
    But it demonstrates that the statement of the Democratic staffer that
    the Bush administration only contracts GOP supporters is
    equally stupid !!!

    ALBO

    March 22, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Tom I

    Yea? And one of the OTHER perpetrators was a Clinton trainee. Why is only Obama being focused on here?

    March 22, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Jereme

    Hmm, good try Obama campaign...victim card rescinded!

    March 22, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Jamal

    Mr. Obama is definitely lot more shrewd and smart than i had ever imagined. We the common citizens really need to be cautious more so now as he has this amazing capability to hypnotise us for his own ambitions and pride!!
    I wish he had little bit of innocence and his heart would have been for all the americans(white or black or brown or yellow), but unfortunately as much as he tries he does have a deep hidden anger against the "typical white americans", and that is scary. If he'd have been one running for senate or congress than i'd have been ok, but he is running for PRESIDENT, for God's sake!! His anger which i'm sure he discusses in private with his own wife sometimes unwillingly comes out through his wife's mouth, when she unwittingly said that she was proud of this country for the first time after realising the wins and support during last super-tuesday. If she didn't mean the way the regular American perceived it, tha why doesn't she say it again??
    Politics, and Obama says he is not playing it. What a hipocrisy, and how long should we keep getting fooled? We got fooled 8yrs and even 4yrs back by the same kind of hypocrisy, and we good-hearted people keep repeating ur mistakes time and again!!

    March 22, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. Laura Charlotte NC

    Go America
    This tactic is called "hiding in plain sight". Ever hear of it?
    It's too obvious so it must not be true???

    March 22, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. kathleen

    Let's all remember, now, the dirty trick about Canada that
    Hillary pulled on the eve of the primaries in Texas, Ohio.

    She actually got Ohio and Texas to believe that she really
    didn't have much to to with NAFTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    She cheated and lied to win Ohio and Texas

    OBAMA OR NO ONE. TOO many Democrats WILL NOT VOTE HILLARY, WE WILL NEVER.

    March 22, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Grif

    I want to know more about you, than you want them to... Why?

    Maybe they'll want to know even more, after this year.... Why?

    Most of us have nothing to hide, so we don't worry about it... WhY???

    March 22, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. mike

    Obama attitude for me sound like an old politician. 1. He is a liar – I am shocked and thrill about Dr. Wright's speech but he already know this guy for 26 years and put him as one of his high ranking campaign official. 2. He is corrupt guy – he asked Hillary to release the Tax, but Obama tax reports only released once in a public. He said he involved in public service for more than 20 years, so where is the rest of the tax reports. I really want to see the tax reports on the year and after he bought that house from Rezko's wife. 3. He is a flip-flop guy. Look what his stand on NAFTA and all his present voted in Chicago. 4. His decision follow the wealthy institution who finance his campaign – Remember he voted for the finance institution to charge more than 30% in creduit card bill and others credit companies. He never think about people who voted for him.

    With this so many attitudes, I don't think we should voted for him. He is a nominee, I will voted for Mc Cain. I lost my trust for this guy!!

    March 22, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. John

    We are beginning to learn why sen.Obama wants nothing to do with vote-overs in the States Florida and Michigan! Let the brighter minds who dig out conspiracies help America once and for evr.

    March 22, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. VOTER FOR TRUTH AND DIGNITY IN AMERICA

    WHITE RETIRED PROFESSIONAL WOMAN OF 63, FOR OBAMA
    FROM DAY 1.

    WHITES FOR OBAMAMAN????SPEAK UP!

    March 22, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Independant minded

    The reason the bloggers are given Obama such a hard time is that he was given sooooooo much press time by CNN and others over this issue because he demanded an investigation. For crying out loud, Condi Rice interrupted her official meeting to apologize to the baby. She already had ordered an investigation.

    This guy is just over the top and his narcissism is driving the rest of the country crazy. Ugh!

    March 22, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Rose Dean, mpls

    When you are betrayed, how do you usually react? I think Hillary had no choice but to downplay it.

    Richardson shows that same (lack of) judgement as the man he just can't get enough of.

    Let's see–Oprah left Wright's congregation, but Obamas stayed for 20 years and kept mum–now that shows courage!

    And then there's Rezko. What kind of judgement does that show to illegally finance the property adjacent to your mansion and more than $250,000 in campaign contributions from the most corrupt businessman in Chicago?

    Clintons elevated you to the cabinet and this is how you repary them?Shame on you.

    May the best woman win–go Hillary.

    March 22, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Laura Charlotte NC

    BM
    I, for one, would love to have the Hillary Clinton in the White House.
    Nothing wrong having a "first gentleman" who's been there to give advice.
    In fact, 2 Clintons sounds twice as good!!!!

    March 22, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Tamika-OH

    This had republican administration written all over it. Did you see Rice in her interview? bologna! Bush's crooked cronies..or maybe himself gave these contractors orders to
    "snoop" on ALL the candidates..rules and morality dont apply to him anyway. hell if he can dupe a whole country into going into a war for personal vendetta then whats a few secure files mean to him? Done it before..can do it again..and the first thing we do is blame the candidates for doing it to each other...DOWN WITH GWB...he's the real anti-american..and iknow this wont be posted..because i must be anti-american for saying it..oh well.. I'll just resign..

    March 22, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Bonnie

    I'm tired......I'm votin' myself in

    it's all a bunch of crap....now I hope peeps open their eyes...I didn't like him before and now I like him less...I have seen so many times that he didn't do what is expected of him......hand over heart bein' the largest "mistake".........like I said.........I'm tired, I'm votin' myself in

    I've been watchin' CNN for so long I feel like they're family......right now they're more like the uncle I don't want to invite to my weddin'.......come on CNN...you act like you're in love with the man....WAKE UP!

    March 22, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Ann Aloha FariMedia, PA

    OOOPS Another blunder by Obama himself. Can't even keep track of who's turn it is to find dirt on the Clintons and where they went to do it.
    The Pro-Obama media kept this from the front page...FOX NEWS didn't...
    All the polls will reflect this blunder and will respond to this in major numbers leaving him in the dust.
    And it's all his fault for allowing himself to be glorified by the media and shrewdly accepting the false glory.

    March 22, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. augustcandi

    how bout the other company involved? The Analysis Corporation donated over 1000.00 to the hillary campaign..how come CNN doesnt report this information? One sided stories again? or how bout that fact that the person in charge of the whole dept, Harty, was a former hillary employee? how bout that in your news story..one sided news like always

    March 22, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. P L

    Why do Clinton and Obama supporters have to bash one another and their opponent candidates with such vitrioles? You are free to voice your opinions of pros and cons of the candiates, but be more adult in doing so. Leave some room for respect because we are part of the same country, and for you, part of the same party.
    I give Obama a lot of credit for the ability to have come so far. He must be a great motivator. I admire his speeches.
    I am concerned about his judgment and inability to detach himself emotionally from Rev Wright when he himself has campaigned on the premises of uniting the country to make changes, and wants to transcend his campaign beyond the boundary of race. He needed the support base of Rev Wright's followers. That's politics 101. Can he withstand pressures if he gets to the white House?

    March 22, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Soothsayer

    CNN please publish my comments. I predict that Obama will win the genral election in November 2008.

    March 22, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Dre

    Why is the media keep showing Obama picture with wright but I dont see them showing Bill picture with Rev Wright. I think the media is destroying the Demoncratic party. We the American people is not let the media brain wash us against Obama. I never seen any election how the media control people minds go with your best thoughts dont let anyone determine if you should vote for a particular candidate. The media can not stop Obama from being elected as our next president

    March 22, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. Sas

    This is the start of ObamaGate.

    March 22, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. Laura Charlotte NC

    Kathleen,
    Do you actually believe these things??
    Hillary has been doing nothing but campaigning and she has left the "other" candidate to his own devices.
    The voters speak for themselves.

    March 22, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Debbie

    This reeks of a Republican coverup. Bigtime. But what else is new. Same pattern, different year.

    March 22, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8