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Chief of firm involved in breach is Obama adviser

  • Story Highlights
  • Source: John Brennan advises Barack Obama on foreign policy, intelligence issues
  • The passport files of three presidential contenders were improperly accessed
  • A contractor for the Analysis Corp. has been disciplined
  • Two contractors who worked for Stanley Inc. have been fired
  • Next Article in Politics »
From Kate Bolduan
CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The CEO of a company whose employee is accused of improperly looking at the passport files of presidential candidates is a consultant to the Barack Obama campaign, a source said Saturday.

Analysis Corp. President John Brennan, shown here in 2004, advises Barack Obama, a source tells CNN.

John O. Brennan, president and CEO of the Analysis Corp., advises the Illinois Democrat on foreign policy and intelligence issues, the source said.

Brennan briefed the media on behalf of the campaign this month.

The executive is a former senior CIA official and former interim director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

He contributed $2,300 to the Obama campaign in January.

When asked about the contribution, a State Department official told CNN's Zain Verjee, "We ethically awarded contracts. Political affiliation is not one of the factors that we check."

On Friday, the department revealed that Obama's passport file was improperly accessed three times this year, and the security of passport files of the two other major presidential candidates -- Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain -- had also been breached. Watch the secretary of state apologize for the breach »

Three contract employees are accused in the wrongdoing, including the one who works for Analysis Corp. and who was disciplined. That contract employee accessed McCain's file in addition to Obama's. None of the contract employees was identified. Learn more about the companies involved »

The other two contract employees worked for Stanley Inc. They were fired.

The Washington Times, which broke the story Thursday night that Obama's records had been improperly accessed, reported Saturday that the State Department inquiry is focusing on the Analysis Corp. employee. Also, the investigation by the department's inspector general will include polygraph tests for supervisors in the passport section to find out whether there was any political motive.

The department spokesman said Saturday that he would not comment on whether the department was administering polygraphs to employees in connection with the investigation.

"While this is a rare occurrence, we regret the unauthorized access of any individual's private information," the company said Friday in a statement.

Stanley has had contracts with the department since 1992 and was recently awarded a $570 million contract to continue providing support for passport processing. Its CEO, Philip Nolan, contributed $1,000 to the Clinton campaign. Watch how contractor execs are linked to campaigns »

The department official said the three contract employees worked in three offices in the Washington area. One office does consular work and visas on evenings, holidays, weekends and overnights; another office issues passports; the third office scans and files materials.

The source said there has been no problem in the past with the Analysis Corp. employee, who has "extensive" experience. The worker has been with the company for years and has always worked under a State Department contract.

Explaining that the department had "complimented" this person for work in the past, the source said the individual is considered a "terrific" employee, except for this one instance, characterized as an "aberration."

The department asked the Analysis Corp. not to take any administrative action against the employee while the investigation is under way.

On Friday, the company released a statement saying it would fully cooperate with the federal investigation. The source said the Analysis Corp. has told the employee to do the same.

Echoing the State Department spokesman Friday, this source said there is no indication the motivation was anything but curiosity.

The source said Analysis Corp. learned of its employee's actions from the State Department on Friday morning. In its statement, Analysis Corp. confirmed that one of the accused was an employee and called the incident "isolated." E-mail to a friend

CNN's Zain Verjee contributed to this report.

All About U.S. Department of StateBarack ObamaHillary ClintonJohn McCain

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