The Pentagon’s Inspector General has launched a preliminary investigation into charges that James H. Baker, the director of the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA), is retaliating against a whistleblower who warned of “rigged” contracts to outside consultants, The Daily Caller News Foundation has confirmed.
TheDCNF verified through two independent sources that the acting IG, Glenn A. Fine, initiated a formal “Whistleblower Reprisal Investigation” Sept. 28 to look into allegations that Baker unleashed various reprisals against Adam Lovinger, a senior ONA official. Lovinger warned about potential sweetheart deals to politically-connected outside contractors, including one with a woman Chelsea Clinton has referred to as her “best friend.”
The IG is investigating Baker’s actions under Presidential Policy Directive-19, an October 2012 directive designed to protect members of the intelligence community who report waste, fraud and abuse. The directive pointedly states that it “prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.”
Baker is an Obama holdover appointed by Secretary Ashton Carter in May 2015, who remains the ONA director 11 months into the Trump administration.
Lovinger specifically protested $11.2 million in ONA contracts awarded over a decade to the Long Term Strategic Group (LTSG), a company owned by Jacqueline Newmyer, a childhood friend of Chelsea Clinton. Clinton and Newmyer first met each other while attending Sidwell Friends School, an exclusive private Quaker school in the nation’s capital. They were in each other’s weddings, and in 2011 Chelsea referred to Newmyer as her “best friend.”
Lovinger’s attorney, Sean M. Bigley, accuses Baker of continuing the LTSG contract in the hopes it could help him in a Clinton presidency. (RELATED: Chelsea’s ‘Best Friend’ Wins $11 MIL in Defense Contracts With No Clearance)