President Obama’s transition team improperly e-mailed sensitive and confidential information about a candidate for a high-level government job, newly disclosed WikiLeaks e-mails reveal.
Days before Obama won his first term in 2008, a Washington lobbyist circulated an e-mail about James Steinberg, a former Clinton- administration official who was being vetted as Obama’s national security adviser.
The Nov. 2, 2008, e-mail from lobbyist and lawyer Christine Varney contained an attachment with Steinberg’s security-clearance questionnaire. The 61-page document is called a “Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF86 Format).”
The file was filled with sensitive information, including Steinberg’s Social Security and passport numbers, his mental-health history, details of his marijuana use between 1969 and 1975 while he attended Harvard and Yale, and the adoption of his children in China.
The information was e-mailed to Citibank executive Michael Froman on Obama’s transition team and John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, who headed Obama’s transition team in fall 2008.