The patriots at Judicial Watch announced on Monday that they had obtained 216 pages of official documents proving that President Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, had sent and received important classified information using unsecure private email accounts.
Judicial Watch was able to secure the documents using a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, which was necessary because the Homeland Security department had ignored the group’s many attempts to gain access to the documents.
From Judicial Watch:
This is the first production of emails sent through private, web-based email accounts of Johnson, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Chief of Staff Christian Marrone and General Counsel Stevan Bunnell that were also sent to government email accounts. The emails released reveal that:
- The Kuwaiti ambassador to the US sent an emailto Johnson’s unsecure email account attempting to set up a meeting for him with Kuwait’s Interior Ministry and discussing Kuwait’s Interior Minister’s having meetings with the heads of CIA, FBI and DNI.
- The US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia emailedto Johnson’s unsecure email account, discussing Johnson’s upcoming meetings at the Saudi Interior Ministry in Jeddah.
- DHS Chief of Staff Marrone held sensitive discussionswith an unidentified individual regarding the earnings of Lockheed Martin and a space vehicle launch consortium between Lockheed and Boeing, which the sender said to “use wisely.” Marrone also received procurement documents related to launch vehicles and their “Launch Infrastructure Capability.”
- Johnson gave a “Progress Report” speech in which he citedthe Homeland Security Department’s “strides in cybersecurity.”
- An unidentified individual spoofed Johnson’s name and email account in a phishing scam, telling recipients that they could get money from “an abandoned fund worth U.S.D. 4.5 million in West Africa” if they would send back their personal details.
This, along with a previous discovery from Judicial Watch that Johnson and 28 other agency officials had used government computers to access unsecure private email accounts, puts the lie to Johnson’s constant argument that Homeland Security had made “great strides in cybersecurity” under his watch. Judicial Watch’s President Tom Fitton added, “It is ironic and disconcerting that Secretary Johnson and his aides touted Homeland Security’s great ‘strides in cybersecurity’ while using unsecured, private, web-based email accounts that the Department had officially prohibited. The fact that the documents found in these email accounts were so heavily redacted and that Johnson’s name and email account were spoofed in a phishing scam is indicative of just how lax communications security was inside Homeland Security during the Obama administration.”
Judicial Watch previously uncovered documents revealing that Secretary Jeh Johnson and 28 other agency officials used government computers to access personal web-based email accounts despite an agency-wide ban due to heightened security concerns. The documents also reveal that Homeland Security officials misled Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) when Perry specifically asked whether personal accounts were being used for official government business.