Candidate Passport Breach Now Includes Obama, Clinton, and McCain

At first, the news broke yesterday that it was just Obama’s passport that had been accessed. Well today we find out that it was indeed Clinton’s and McCain’s as well.

The story on it from Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON – State Department employees snooped through the passport files of three presidential candidates — Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain — and the department’s inspector general is investigating.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the violations of McCain and Clinton’s passport files were not discovered until Friday, after officials were made aware of the unauthorized access of Obama’s records and a separate search was conducted.

The incidents raise questions as to whether the information was accessed for political purposes and why two contractors involved in the Obama search were dismissed before investigators had a chance to interview them. It recalled an incident in 1992, when a Republican political appointee at the State Department was demoted over a search of presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s passport records. At the time, Clinton was challenging President George H.W. Bush.

McCormack said one of the individuals who accessed Obama’s files also reviewed McCain’s file earlier this year. This contract employee has been reprimanded, but not fired. The individual no longer has access to passport records, he said.

“I can assure you that person’s going to be at the top of the list of the inspector general when they talk to people, and we are currently reviewing our (disciplinary) options with respect to that person,” McCormack said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke with all three candidates on Friday and expressed her regrets. In the meantime, State Department officials headed to Capitol Hill to brief the candidates’ staffs.

Obama’s campaign reacted to the story yesterday:

Here’s McCain commenting on the story:

Also, here’s Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice commenting as well:

The rest of this story seems to be developing. I’ll update it later with more information.