Probe launched into Pentagon handling of NSA whistleblower evidence

A federal watchdog has concluded that the Pentagon inspector general’s office may have improperly destroyed evidence during the high-profile leak prosecution of former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake.

The Office of Special Counsel, which is charged with protecting federal employees who provide information on government wrongdoing, said its review of the handling of the Drake case had determined that there is “substantial likelihood” that there had been “possible violations of laws, rules or regulations” in the destruction of the evidence.

The counsel office’s review, which was made available to McClatchy, states the allegations had been “transmitted” to the Justice Department’s inspector general for further investigation and that the Justice Department had agreed to open a probe by June 1.

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