January 4, 2019
The U.S. Postal Service inspector general officially cleared a prominent conservative research group of any wrongdoing for getting its hands on Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s complete and unredacted official personnel file last summer.
America Rising, a conservative opposition research group contracted by dozens of conservative PACs and campaign committees each election cycle to dig up dirt on Democratic candidates, went through the proper channels, submitting a Freedom of Information Act request for Spanberger’s file to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the IG concluded in its report released in late December.
NARA stores official personnel files for various government agencies, including the USPS, but it is up to government agencies to respond to the FOIA requests and redact certain protected information in the file NARA provides.
An administrative assistant in the USPS’ human resources department improperly executed that FOIA request by forwarding Spanberger’s entire file to America Rising, including a confidential national security form known as Standard Form 86 (SF-86) that she filled out when she was hired as a postal inspector in the early 2000s.
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