Katie Arrington’s attorney Mark S. Zaid has threatened “litigation” against Oxebridge for “spreading completely false information” about his client, but in which the tweets themselves attributed false quotes to Oxebridge.

On Twitter, Zaid first threw out a veiled threat accusing the Oxebridge account of “spreading completely false information” about Arrington. His tweet was in response to a May 2021 Oxebridge report which had announced Arrington’s departure from DOD.  Zaid then made a false accusation of his own, claiming the Oxebridge piece said Arrington was “fired,” putting the word in quotes. That report never used the word, but instead clearly characterized her departure as “indefinite leave” per sources.

Arrington’s leave was later confirmed by major news outlets including Bloomberg and Newsweek, which reported it as being prompted by a “probe” over an allegation that she leaked classified information. Zaid appears to have been hired to defend Arrington in that probe.

Zaid then claimed, “there is no ethics investigation.” In fact, Oxebridge has launched its own ethics probes into Arrington and other actors with the CMMC scheme and filed over 20 major ethics complaints with various agencies and both Armed Services Committees of Congress. Oxebridge has confirmed that a handful of these filings have resulted in actual investigations, and Oxebridge founder Christopher Paris personally provided interviews and evidence in support of those probes.

Despite Oxebridge responding by pointing out the article never accused Arrington of being “fired,” Zaid did not retract his statement, but doubled down saying, “we can litigate in court.

In what appears to be selective necroposting, Zaid made no reference to a more recent article which clearly indicates Arrington may yet return and have her security clearances restored.

At no time has Zaid or Arrington requested a formal correction or retraction via the Oxebridge Corrections, Retractions, and Addenda policy. While Oxebridge has a history of providing corrections when a request is substantiated, such requests have been rare in the company’s 22 years of reporting. In the case of the Arrington story, Oxebridge it stands by its reporting and sources.

Zaid is a respected attorney who previously made a name for himself by defending victims of whistleblower retaliation, such as Lt. Col Yevgeny Vindman. Zaid now finds himself on the other side of the whistleblower reprisal equation, however. In response to the tweets, Oxebridge is preparing an update to its DOD Inspector General report which will allege Arrington is attempting to shut down reporting and ethics complaints through intimidation and threats of litigation. The charge is worsened by the fact that Arrington likely knows sitting government employees cannot themselves be sued for defamation, granting her additional protections not shared by private citizens.

Oxebridge has performed international whistleblowing, complaints escalation, and fraud investigations for over 15 years, and operates the international ISO Whistleblower Reporting System and PPE Fraud Reporting System. To date, over 300 such reports have been filed with ISO authorities, international governments, NGOs, and multiple US Federal agencies.

Paris has prior protections under the Defense Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection (DICWP) program for DODIG reports made related to defense industry fraud. In a prior lawsuit launched by Oxebridge, Florida Judge Elizabeth G. Rice declared Oxebridge as a news source, granting it associated press protections. Those protections include allowing Oxebridge to protect its sources.

It is unlikely that Zaid was aware of the long history of Oxebridge’s work in the whistleblowing field prior to his tweets.

 

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Since 2000, Oxebridge has worked to improve ISO and related certification schemes by identifying problems and then proposing solutions. We report on issues affecting standards users because so few other news outlets do. Our belief is that in order to fix the problems in these schemes, we must first understand the nature and breadth of those problems. Our reporting aims to do just that. Elsewhere on the Oxebridge site you will find White Papers and other articles proposing ideas to correct these problems.

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