Monday 9 January 2023

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Seeks Answers After Federal Government Leaks Social Security Numbers Of Her Family

 South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is looking for answers after the federal government leaked her social security number — and those of her family members — in the public release of records from the January 6 House committee.

Noem publicly shared the letter that her lawyers sent to federal agencies to demand a response over the publicly disclosed information in a Twitter post on Friday.

“My lawyers have asked the @WhiteHouse, the @USNatArchives, and @BennieGThompson which of them is responsible for leaking the Social Security Numbers of me, my husband, my 3 kids, and my son-in-law,” she tweeted. “What specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect our identities?”

Noem’s leaked social security numbers were posted alongside the private information of nearly 2,000 others in a file of high-profile visitors to the White House in December 2020.

“The National Archives produced these visitors logs, which then became exhibits during the January 6 Committee hearing. Prior to being published as exhibits, the law required that Protected Personal Information be redacted from the visitor logs, but that was not done,” the letter from Noem’s lawyers read.

The letter argued that the publication of the governor’s and of her family’s private information is a violation of the Privacy Act of 1974 and could lead to further legal action. The lawyers are requesting a response by January 13 from those involved.

The Daily Wire reported on Friday that after the committee’s last public meeting last month, it released a trove of official records, testimonies, transcripts, and other information that it collected as part of its investigation into the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. One of those documents was a spreadsheet containing nearly 2,000 Social Security numbers of White House guests in December 2020.

Among the Social Security numbers on the list, since removed from the files, was information associated with at least three Trump cabinet members, several Republican governors, and numerous officials and allies, according to The Washington Post. Some of the other leaders whose personal information was leaked included Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R), and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

On November 30, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wrote a letter to committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) demanding that the January 6 committee preserve all records from its investigation.

“You have spent a year and a half and millions of taxpayers’ dollars conducting this investigation. It is imperative that all information be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” McCarthy wrote. “The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people, and they are owed all the information you gathered – not merely the information that comports with your political agenda.”

Noem’s letter from her lawyers also came one day ahead of the inauguration of her second term as governor of South Dakota.

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