Oversight and Armed Services Subcommittee Chairs Issue Statement After DOD Inspector General Announces Evaluation of ‘Emergency Satchel’ Notification Procedures
Washington, D.C. (July 20, 2021)— Today, Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on National Security; and Rep. Jim Cooper, Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, issued the following statement after the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) confirmed it will evaluate whether the Department has adequate procedures in place to respond to instances when the Presidential Emergency Satchel, more commonly known as the “nuclear football,” is lost, stolen, or compromised:
“The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, was not only an unprecedented attack on our democracy, but it also put our national security in grave danger. According to public reports, as Vice President Pence hurried away to safety with a military aide carrying his emergency satchel, or ‘nuclear football,’ Pentagon officials were unaware that the football was potentially seconds away from falling into the hands of a lawless mob.
“It is imperative that we fully understand the processes and procedures that are in place to protect the Presidential Emergency Satchel—especially when its custodians might be in danger—and we applaud the DOD OIG for accepting our request to initiate this evaluation. We look forward to reviewing their findings once the report is completed.”
On March 16, 2021, Chairman Lynch and Chairman Cooper wrote to Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell requesting that the DOD OIG conduct a review of security procedures relating to the emergency satchel as part of the OIG’s ongoing review of DOD’s “roles, responsibilities, and actions to prepare for, and respond to, the planned protest and its aftermath at the U.S. Capitol campus on January 6, 2021.”