Politics

Secret Service Laptop Containing National Secrets Stolen

| by Lauren Briggs

Somebody broke into a Secret Service agent's car in Brooklyn, New York, on the morning of March 16 and stole a laptop containing highly sensitive national security information, including Trump Tower evacuation plans and details on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server investigation.

The thief stole a backpack containing lapel assignment pins indicating clearance to high security teams, including those protecting President Donald Trump, the pope, Clinton and the United Nations General Assembly, reports CNN. Also in the backpack were other documents believed to be of a sensitive nature, notes New York Daily News.

The backpack was recovered with the pins inside. However, the laptop and hard documents remain missing.

Surveillance video shows a man stepping out of a car -- that might be an Uber -- and stealing the laptop and backpack from the Secret Service vehicle, which was parked in the agent's driveway. Footage then shows the suspect walking away carrying a backpack.

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"The U.S. Secret Service can confirm that an employee was the victim of a criminal act in which our Agency issued laptop computer was stolen," the agency said in a statement on March 17, according to ABC.

It is unclear whether or not officials can trace the laptop or erase the sensitive information remotely. ABC reports that authorities can wipe the hard drive remotely, while CNN reports that this cannot be done, thus the reason for the frantic search.

"Secret Service-issued laptops contain multiple layers of security, including full disk encryption, and are not permitted to contain classified information," explained Secret Service spokeswoman Cathy Milhoan, according to CNN. "An investigation is ongoing and the Secret Service is withholding additional comment until the facts are gathered. The Secret Service requests anyone with information regarding this crime to please contact the New York Police Department and the US Secret Service New York Field Office."

One agent reportedly told New York Daily News that while the documents on the laptop do not contain details about the White House or foreign leaders, they do contain information that could compromise national security.

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"There's data on there that's highly sensitive," a police source told New York Daily News. "They're scrambling like mad."

In addition to the computer containing Trump Tower floor plans and more information, the thief also reportedly has the Secret Service agent's access key card.

"The Secret Service is very heavily involved and, citing national security, there's very little we have on our side," the officer added. "It's a very big deal."

Sources: CNN, New York Daily News, ABC / Photo credit: Chuck Patch/Flickr

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