State Department Employees Now Need Official Clearance Before They Testify

The State Department quietly issued a new policy that seems designed to keep its employees from freely speaking to Congress or the press — particularly about Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s email controversy.

Heritage’s Daily Signal reports:

The State Department issued 19 pages of revised rules about official clearance for speaking, writing and teaching on July 27.

The new rules, first reported by Diplopundit, a blog that unofficially watches State Department leadership and management issues, say in part: “Employee testimony, whether in an official capacity or in a personal capacity on a matter of Departmental concern may be subject to the review requirements of this subchapter.

Written into the revised State Department regulation is the threat that an employee or former employee speaking to Congress or the press outside the policy could be fired and criminally prosecuted. “Noncompliance may result in disciplinary action, criminal prosecution and/or civil liability,” reads one section.

Writing for The Daily Signal, Sheryl Attkisson reports that the failure to seek approval from the State Department before speaking to Congress or the press could result either in their termination or criminal prosecution: “Noncompliance may result in disciplinary action, criminal prosecution and/or civil liability.”

Do you think the State Department is grossly overreaching with this new policy?