State Dept. Whistleblower's Emails Destroyed by Hacker

Monday, 30 Dec 2013 02:58 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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A State Department whistleblower's computer has had four years of emails deleted by a hacker, including messages detailing alleged wrongdoing at the agency, according to the New York Post.

The Gmail account of Diplomatic Security Service criminal investigator Richard Higbie was hacked earlier this month, confirmed his lawyer Cary Schulman. And now Higbie has asked the FBI in Dallas, where he lives, to investigate the hack attack.

Schulman said that the e-mails included Higbie's proof of misconduct by leading department officials, his correspondence with other potential whistleblowers at the agency, and his communications with members of Congress investigating the allegations.

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"They took all of his e-mails and then they deleted them all," said Schulman, adding that he had no evidence to suggest the hacker's identity or whether he or she was working in collusion with anyone else.

Calling the hacking "sophisticated" and saying Higbie's targeting was "alarming," the lawyer added, "Obviously, somebody is not happy with something he’s doing and wanted to get that information and also cause him an inability in the future to have ready access to that."

Higbie, the second-highest-ranking agent in the Dallas office, played a vital part in helping fellow whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator for the department’s Inspector General, lift the lid earlier this year on a series of coverups by leading officials, the Post reports.

The alleged coverups included keeping an Inspector General investigation under wraps that confirmed members of then-Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s security detail had paid for hookers and that the Belgian ambassador had solicited underage prostitutes.

The Post says that several investigations by the service, which protects dignitaries and investigates crimes at the agency, were allegedly derailed by senior officials, including one case in which Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills allegedly interfered.

Higbie has claimed in an employment lawsuit against the department that it took revenge against him for being a whistleblower.

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