WSJ: Grand Jury Probing Contractor That Vetted Snowden

Saturday, 03 Aug 2013 02:10 PM

 

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The company that conducted the most recent security review of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation into its background check processes, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing people involved with the probe.

Federal prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating whether USIS, a U.S. government contractor, rushed its cases without doing a proper review, which would be a violation of the False Claims Act, the Journal said.

The grand jury has issued subpoenas to former USIS officials in recent days, the paper reported.

US Investigations Services, LLC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Snowden, who as a U.S. National Security Agency contractor had undergone a USIS security review in 2011, is facing U.S. espionage charges after disclosing details of secret U.S. surveillance programs.

After fleeing the country and spending weeks holed up in the transit area of a Moscow airport, he was granted asylum in Russia this week.

USIS has been under investigation by the inspector general for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. While that probe predates the Snowden scandal, concerns have been raised about whether the company's background check into Snowden was carried out in an appropriate manner.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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