07.10.15

Some Democrats Grow Livid As OPM Breach Fallout Mounts

Some Democrats sounded alarms on leadership at the Office of Personnel Management that some say has bungled the response to a huge data breach, adding pressure on  embattled agency director Katherine Archuleta.

Ms. Archuleta resigned from her post on Friday.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said OPM officials gave misleading testimony during a classified briefing in June that he said sought to minimize the impact of a cyberattack that stole personnel records, fingerprint data, and other sensitive reports.

“I’ve been on the intelligence committee for probably about eight years now,” he said in an interview. “I’d say that hearing concerned me more than any other in terms of the willingness [by OPM] to be forthcoming.”

Mr. Schiff routinely meets with agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and other intelligence divisions and frequently is briefed on the country’s most sensitive matters.

 

“There’s nothing more infuriating to members of the intelligence committee than to get a briefing and to learn that the witnesses knew far more than they related, and learn about it by reading it in the paper,” Mr. Schiff said.

 

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Federal Bureau of Investigation officials knew early on that the OPM breach included the loss of millions of sensitive background investigation records, but that OPM officials denied for more than a week that these records had been taken.

 

OPM officials said they only learned the background records were lost after they began investigating a smaller breach, in which 4.2 million personnel records of current and former federal employees were stolen.

 

On Thursday, Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) was the first Senate Democrat to call for Ms. Archuleta to resign. He said Ms. Archuleta’s “slow and uneven response has not inspired confidence that she is the right person to manage OPM through this crisis.” He joined Rep. Ted Lieu (D., Calif.), who called for Ms. Archuleta to resign in June.

 

The White House has voiced support for Ms. Archuleta in the past but calls for her ouster grew. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), and other top GOP leaders called on Ms. Archuleta to resign or be fired on Thursday.

 


By:  Damian Paletta
Source: Wall Street Journal