Subpoena Envy: Are GOP House Staffers Leaking Confidential Grant Proposal Reports?

In a Vox story about Republican investigations into NSF grants with funny titles (really, I’m not exaggerating), we come across this from a letter by a Democrat who thinks the investigating Republicans are suffering from subpoena envy (pdf; boldface mine):

It has come to my attention that on September 16, Fox News published an article regarding one of the 20 grants reviewed by your staff – an article which contained a quote from you disparaging that grant. Further, I have been informed that this article contained at least two pieces of information that were not publicly available and that were available in the confidential materials reviewed by both your staff and mine. I know that my staff never shared this information. Nor did NSF or the grant recipient. A reasonable person could conclude that the only other party who had access to this material–you or your staff–released the information. I seek your assurance that this did not happen. I could only interpret such a breach as a deliberate effort to embarrass the agency and the grantee. If such a breach occurred, I am convinced even further of NSF’s need to protect confidential grant materials.

…Your efforts threaten to compromise the anonymity that is central to the frank and open exchange of comments and critiques during the review process, thus compromising the integrity of the peer-review process. As I asked you last year, how can future participants in the peer-review process have confidence that their views will remain confidential when the Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee has shown that investigating awards and even unfunded proposals may become business as usual for the Committee, and especially now in light of the September 16 Fox New article?

Yet another reason why friends don’t let friends vote Republican.

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