Joseph E. Schmitz
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|Joseph E. Schmitz|
|Department of Defense Inspector General|
March 21, 2002 – September 9, 2005
|Born||Joseph Edward Schmitz
August 28, 1956 (age 59)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Alma mater||Stanford University|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
Joseph Edward Schmitz (born August 28, 1956) is an American lawyer, former Inspector General of the Department of Defense and a former executive with Blackwater Worldwide. He is currently a foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. He left his job as the Pentagon’s top watchdog 11 years ago, amid accusations that he protected top officials in the George W. Bush administration suspected of wrongdoing.
Schmitz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of John G. Schmitz, former California State Senator, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Presidential candidate (1972). Schmitz attended Catholic schools as a child and Georgetown Preparatory School while his father served in Congress. He holds a Bachelor of Science (1978) from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and a Juris Doctor (1986) from Stanford University. He was on the wrestling team at the Naval Academy. His siblings include Mary Kay Fualaau, Jerome Thomas Schmitz and John Patrick Schmitz.
Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Schmitz served in the U.S. Navy for approximately four years, including a stint as an exchange officer with the German Navy. Schmitz left active duty and was in the Naval Reserve until 2001. After leaving active duty, Schmitz attended law school. He clerked with James L. Buckley, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was a special assistant to Attorney General Edwin Meese III during the Reagan Administration. Schmitz entered the private sector in 1987, eventually joining the Washington, D.C., firm of Patton Boggs LLP. He was an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University in the 1990s.
As Inspector General, Schmitz investigated involvement of the U.S. military in the sex trade in South Korea, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Schmitz currently writes a column titled “Support and Defend” for the media organization Newsmax.
Inspector General of the Department of Defense
Schmitz was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Defense Department Inspector General on June 18, 2001. His nomination was held up in the Senate Armed Services Committee for unknown reasons until March 21, 2002, when he was confirmed by the full Senate by voice vote. One of his first actions as Inspector General was to hire controversial republican operative L. Jean Lewis as his chief of staff.
Allegations and resignation
Senator Charles Grassley published numerous allegations against Schmitz toward the end of his almost four-year tenure. All of Grassley’s allegations were investigated by an independent Office of Inspector General under the auspices of the Integrity Committee of the President’s Council on Integrity & Efficiency (PCIE), which on October 19, 2006, “concluded that there was no wrongdoing.” [Citation: PCIE Integrity Committee Fax to PCIE Chairman, October 19, 2006. See also, “Corrections,” The Washington Post, p. A02, November 20, 2010 (clarifying that its prior article about Inspector General Schmitz, “failed to state that Schmitz was exonerated of any wrongdoing by the Integrity Committee of the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency in 2006“).]
Schmitz resigned as Defense Department Inspector General on September 9, 2005 in the wake of new allegations that he intervened to obstruct the FBI investigation of fellow Bush appointee to the Department of Defense John A. Shaw in relation to contracting improprieties in Iraq for which Shaw was fired in December 2004.
The allegations also included interference in the investigation of Mary L. Walker's role in the Torture Memos scandal and Schmitz's redaction of an investigative report on Boeing to remove the names of White House officials before sending it to Congress.
In addition to questions regarding Schmitz's independence from the White House, Grassley submitted complaints that Schmitz had accepted a trip to South Korea paid for by a former lobbying client and similarly obtained eight tickets to a Washington Nationals baseball game.
In a letter dated June 15, 2005, and posted on the Inspector General's website on September 2, 2005, Schmitz recused himself from investigating all matters related to Blackwater. After resigning, Schmitz took a position with the Prince Group, a holding company for Blackwater Worldwide, which provides security services and training to the U.S. military in Iraq and elsewhere.
- Blackwater Worldwide
- Janet Rehnquist, former Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services
- Scott Bloch, United States Office of Special Counsel
- Robert W. Cobb, NASA Inspector General
- Howard Krongard, Inspector General of the United States Department of State
- Erik Prince, founder and CEO of Blackwater Worldwide, Inc.
- One of Trump’s foreign policy advisers is a 2009 college grad who lists Model UN as a credential,, The Washington Post, March 22, 2016
- U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Armed Services, Nominations before the Senate Armed Services Committee, first session, 107th Congress, 1616
- NNDB, Joseph E. Schmitz
- Scahill, Blackwater, 303.
- Joseph E. Schmitz, PLLC
- WhoIs Records JESPLLC.COM
- Sharia: The Threat To America, , Center for Security Policy, October 2010
- Schmitz, Joseph, E. "Support and Defend". Newsmax. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Pentagon Iraq War Intel "Not Illegal": Questions About DoD Inspector General's Flawed Report,, Daily Kos, Feb 9, 2007
- Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency, Letter to Joseph E. Schmitz, , October 23, 2006
- T. Christian Miller, The Scrutinizer Finds Himself Under Scrutiny, , Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2005
- T. Christian Miller, Pentagon Investigator Resigning, , Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2005
- T. Christian Miller, Pentagon Ousts Official Under FBI Investigation, , Los Angeles Times, December 11, 2004
- Congressional Record of the 109th Congress, First Session, No. 122, page 35,  U.S. Government Printing Office, September 27, 2005,
- Blackwaters Top Brass, , The Virginian-Pilot, July 24, 2006
- Miller, T. Christian. (2006). Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq. New York: Little, Brown and Company. See pages 68–69.
- Scahill, Jeremy. (2007). Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. New York: Nation Books. See Chapter Seventeen: "Joseph Schmitz: Christian Soldier."
- "US: Pentagon's Top Watchdog Resigned Amid Claims of Stonewalling Inquiries," T. Christian Miller, Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2005
- "How Many More Mike Browns Are Out There?," Mark Thompson, Karen Tumulty, Time Magazine, October 3, 2005
- "No FBI Charges for Defense Official in Iraq Case," T. Christian Miller, Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2005.
- "Tanker Inquiry Finds Rumsfeld's Attention Was Elsewhere," R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post, June 20, 2006
- Appearances on C-SPAN