After just a month into his new post, Camilo Sandoval is on a break to help the Trump campaign.
Federal Chief Information Security Officer Camilo Sandoval’s decision to take time off from his day job to hunt for evidence to support President Trump’s voter fraud claims—disputed by the government agency in charge of election security—is a red flag, said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
“For several years now, Democrats have been leading efforts to devote federal resources to election security–something Leader McConnell and the Trump White House have fought at every step,” Warner, vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, told Nextgov. “To hear that the Federal CISO–who has, heretofore, demonstrated no interest, nor expertise, in election security–is moonlighting for a right-wing group working to undermine the results of the election by trying to validate the President’s baseless claims is enormously concerning.”
Sandoval told the Washington Post his work with a new Virginia-based group called the Voter Integrity Fund is being done on his own time without any federal resources and as such should be clearly “acceptable and normal.”
But Sandoval’s high-profile passion project is directly in conflict with the message of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which has been working to secure the integrity of the vote since 2016.
“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” reads a Nov. 12 statement CISA issued along with a host of public and private election security officials from around the country. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised. While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too.”
The statement was issued in the wake of a Reuters report that CISA Director Christopher Krebs was expected to be fired in connection with the agency’s Rumor Control initiative, which was designed to quash mis- and disinformation regarding the election.
The statement was backed by: CISA Assistant Director Bob Kolasky, U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chair Benjamin Hovland, National Association of Secretaries of State President Maggie Toulouse Oliver, National Association of State Election Directors President Lori Augino, and Escambia County (Florida) Supervisor of Elections David Stafford – and the members of the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council – Chair Brian Hancock (Unisyn Voting Solutions), Vice Chair Sam Derheimer (Hart InterCivic), Chris Wlaschin (Election Systems & Software), Ericka Haas (Electronic Registration Information Center), and Maria Bianchi (Democracy Works), according to the CISA release.
“By every indication–including representations by both Republican state and local officials and DHS–this election was conducted securely,” Warner said.
The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported on the activities of the Voter Integrity Fund, which also includes a number of other current administration officials, according to its leader, Matt Braynard.
Braynard and Sandoval were both members of the data team for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.