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Subcommittee Chairs Pfluger, D’Esposito Probe DHS Over Limited Security Clearances Issued to State, Local, Tribal Law Enforcement Partners

August 4, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger (R-TX) and Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Technology Chairman Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to conduct oversight on the limited number of security clearances issued by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) to state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) law enforcement partners in communities across the country. 

In the letter, the Members state, “[T]he Committee has learned that I&A, which has a responsibility for providing SLTT law enforcement access to intelligence products, including some at the classified level, is apparently not issuing an adequate number of security clearances for some SLTT agencies to properly staff posts requiring a security clearance. Specifically, multiple concerns have been raised that DHS as a policy—whether formally or informally—has begun more strictly limiting security clearances to some or all SLTT law enforcement agencies for unknown reasons, which is having a negative effect on their ability to receive and use intelligence critical to their important duties to protect and serve their communities.”
The Members conclude, “To more fully understand I&A’s processes and policies for issuing security clearances to SLTT agencies, we request that DHS provide Committee staff a briefing, to include but not limited to, information about I&A’s screening and vetting processes for issuing security clearances to SLTT law enforcement partners, no later than August 17, 2023. We also request that DHS provide an annual accounting of how many security clearances were granted and rescinded for major SLTT partners from January 20, 2021, to the present, detailing by department (e.g., Houston Police Department, New York Police Department).”
Read the full letter here.
The House Committee on Homeland Security has continued to conduct oversight of DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis. For example, following reports of possible violations of Americans’ civil liberties in the office’s Overt Human Intelligence Collection Program, Subcommittee Chairman Pfluger joined Committee Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) and Oversight, Accountability, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC) on a letter to Secretary Mayorkas in March, demanding answers and a Congressional briefing on the department’s possible overreach of its statutory mandate. This investigation followed a February letter from the Committee, which requested a status update and any preliminary findings regarding DHS’ ongoing “360” review of the office. Read the full letter here. The Committee continues to engage with the department about its important oversight work concerning I&A.