GOP Senators Demand Energy Dept Explain ‘Suddenly’ Reassigned Intel Director
Jennifer Granholm, US secretary of energy, during the EEI 2023 event in Austin, Texas, US, on Monday, June 12, 2023.
(Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A group of Republican senators are pressing the Department of Energy (DOE) to explain what they said was the abrupt reassignment of a top intelligence official who served in the role for 11 years.

Sen. James Risch (R-ID) led a letter issued this week to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm seeking answers to “urgent” questions raised by the personnel decision.

“On Tuesday, October 17, we received word that Steven Black, the long-serving Director of the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (DOE-IN) at the Department of Energy, was suddenly and without explanation reassigned,” the letter said.

“We are told he will be taking on a new role as ‘Senior Advisor’ in the Department. We are also aware that a study conducted by an outside contractor, which the Department has had in its possession since April, outlines disturbing findings as to the state of counterintelligence across the Department, to include the national laboratories,” the letter added.

While emphasizing the importance of the DOE’s “national security work,” citing research efforts at national laboratories, the senators wrote that they became “deeply” concerned by the contractor study they said Congress had requested.

“If Director Black presided over DOE-IN over a period of time in which there were serious shortcomings with regard to counterintelligence, he should not be reassigned to any office within the Department that has a national security mission,” the senators wrote.

The senators asked that Granholm refrain from assigning Black to any department office until they receive answers on why Black was reassigned, whether the contractor study factored into that decision, which part of the DOE is Black expected to serve as senior adviser, when the DOE became aware of the contester study transmitted to DOE-IN on April 24, and whether Granholm agrees with its findings.

No deadline was included in the letter. The Daily Wire reached out to the DOE seeking comment.

The other senators who signed the letter included Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL), and seven others.


According to the DOE website, the agency’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence is a member of the U.S. intelligence community and is “responsible for all intelligence and counterintelligence activities throughout the DOE complex, including nearly thirty intelligence and counterintelligence offices nationwide.”

The page also says the office “protects vital national security information and technologies, representing intellectual property of incalculable value. Our distinctive contribution to national security is the ability to leverage the Energy Department’s unmatched scientific and technological expertise in support of policymakers as well as national security missions in defense, homeland security, cyber security, intelligence, and energy security.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  GOP Senators Demand Energy Dept Explain ‘Suddenly’ Reassigned Intel Director