In An Unprecedented Move, The US Postal Service Released A Former CIA Officer's Security Application To A Republican Group - 2018-08-29
But BuzzFeed News can confirm that an unredacted copy of the federal security clearance application was obtained by America Rising, a research group allied with the Republican Party, through what the organization believed was a response to its July 9 Freedom of Information Act request from the US Postal Service's human resources section. Once America Rising obtained the documents it then shared it with its client, the Congressional Leadership Fund.
"America Rising submitted a standard Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information from the National Personnel Records Center which was referred to the United States Postal Service, an independent agency, which provided us responsive documents," America Rising CEO Joe Pounder said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "Why the USPS disclosed certain information in response to the FOIA is for their response. At the end of the day, this Democrat candidate is trying to block the one thing FOIA is meant to provide, transparency."
Documents viewed by BuzzFeed News show that the request for Spanberger's entire civilian personnel file was submitted early last month to the National Personnel Records Center, a division of the National Archives. America Rising's request, which sought records related to Spanberger's employment dates at the US Postal Inspection Service, salaries, title, and position descriptions, did not explicitly mention the federal security clearance application, known in bureaucratic circles as an SF-86. Historically, such records would be withheld or heavily redacted under a FOIA privacy act exemption. America Rising's FOIA request included the first five numbers of Spanberger's social security number, which the group obtained from LexisNexis, BuzzFeed News has learned, as a way of assisting NPRC in locating the file.