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Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who announced this week that he accepted a job in the Trump administration as an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, just got busted by CNN for plagiarizing his master’s thesis on security studies in 2013.

CNN’s KFile reported that Clarke did not properly attribute sources at least 47 times in his thesis for the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. The thesis was titled, “Making U.S. security and privacy rights compatible.”

According to the report:

Sources Clarke plagiarized include a 2002 ACLU report about “The Government’s Demand for New and Unnecessary Powers After September 11,” a 2003 ACLU report critical of the FBI’s records-collection practices, a 2007 ACLU report on “fusion centers,” and a 2011 ACLU report on the need to overhaul secrecy laws.

Other sources Clarke lifted words from include: the 9/11 Commission Report, a 2011 article in the Homeland Security Affairs journal, the Pew Research Center, a 2012 report by the Constitution Project, a 2003 report by the US General Accounting Office, a 2011 Brennan Center report, a 2013 Washington Post article about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Comparative Homeland Security: Global Lessons, a textbook by Nadav Morag, and Safe Cities Project, a research paper published by the Manhattan Institute.

Clarke also allegedly plagiarized President George W. Bush.

The sheriff responded to the allegations on Twitter:


Considering Clarke’s history of abusive behavior that bends the law to his advantage, failing to appropriately handle direcly quoted material in a master’s thesis is a bit lower on the list of offenses. But as The Crosstab’s G. Elliot Morris notes, Clarke will fit right in as part of the Trump administration:

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