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Pelosi Sends Letter to Speaker Boehner Requesting Classified Briefing on Cybersecurity Risks Raised by Chairman Issa’s Handling of Sensitive Documents

San Francisco – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote to Speaker John Boehner today requesting a classified briefing after it was reported that House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has taken actions that could compromise the integrity of and federal IT systems.  On Monday, Democratic Ranking Members of the committees of jurisdiction wrote a letter to Boehner and Pelosi requesting an immediate classified briefing on the sensitive documents subpoenaed by Chairman Issa related to to the security of  Below is the full text of Leader Pelosi’s letter:


December 18, 2013


The Honorable John Boehner

Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives

H-232, The Capitol

Washington, D.C.  20515


Dear Speaker Boehner:

This week, it was reported that House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa took actions that could compromise and IT systems throughout the federal government.  I join my colleagues in requesting an immediate classified briefing with the Administration’s top cybersecurity officials and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the relevant Committees to discuss the serious risks posed by the potential disclosure of sensitive documents.

Furthermore, it is my understanding that Chairman Issa unilaterally issued a subpoena to obtain, and later released, excerpts from unredacted copies of documents known as Security Control Assessments and others related to MITRE Corporation’s work with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on security testing for 

On several occasions, warning of potential damage to our national interest, MITRE Corporation and HHS have urged Chairman Issa not to release these documents publicly.  In addition, White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler cautioned that cybersecurity experts from across the Administration believe that such a disclosure would “provide information to potential hackers that increases the risk they could penetrate, the Federal Data Services Hub, and other Federal IT systems.”  In other words, our concern is not simply with Chairman Issa’s blatant efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act; it is the danger of a breach of security and trust across government.

I urge you to take immediate action on this request and to work with House Democrats to safeguard these documents and Federal IT systems.  I look forward to your prompt response.

                                                                                                   best regards,



       Democratic Leader


cc:  Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

       Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member, House Committee on Energy and Commerce

       Rep. Adam Smith, Ranking Member, House Committee on Armed Services

       Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Ranking Member, House Committee on Homeland Security

       Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

       Rep. George Miller, Ranking Member, House Committee on Education and the Workforce

       Rep. Sander M. Levin, Ranking Member, House Committee on Ways and Means