Katie Arrington files FOIA lawsuit in bid to obtain records relating to security clearance suspension

Katie Arrington speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Jan. 31, 2020. (DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James K. Lee)

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Former Department of Defense IT official Katie Arrington has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Pentagon in a bid to obtain records relating to the suspension of her security clearance last year.

According to court documents, she seeks details of all communications relating to her clearance and between the DOD, National Security Agency and other U.S. government agencies.

The latest lawsuit follows a previously amended complaint submitted in November, in which she sought access to classified information to address allegations made against her by the NSA and DOD. The lawsuit was filed in a D.C. federal district court.

Arrington, who held the post of chief information security officer for acquisition and sustainment at the Pentagon before the position was eliminated, officially resigned in February and announced that she would run for Congress after settling a protracted legal dispute over her security clearance.

She had been on paid leave from the Department of Defense since May 2021, after her security clearance was suspended.

According to court documents, Arrington was formally notified by a security officer on May 11 that her clearance for access to classified information was suspended, and that the action had been taken as a result of a reported unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

Commenting on the latest lawsuit, Arrington’s attorney Mark Zaid said: “Today we filed in D.C. federal court a FOIA Privacy Act lawsuit for Katie Arrington to compel the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency and others to release records to her pertaining to highly questionable actions to revoke her security clearance.”

“This is separate legal action from prior unprecedented lawsuit (though related) to force the U.S. government to complete security clearance processing. This current lawsuit will force the U.S. government to reveal documents re: what led to its decision and what we viewed as frivolous (even political in nature) security clearance action,” he added.

A DOD spokesperson declined to comment on the pending litigation.

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Department of Defense (DOD), FOIA, Katie Arrington, National Security Agency (NSA)
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