FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, led a group of GOP lawmakers who raised the alarm in a letter Tuesday claiming the Biden administration “suddenly” reassigned a director in the Department of Energy. 

The letter, sent to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm, states that on Oct. 17, Steven Black, the director of the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (DOE-IN), was abruptly reassigned to a “senior adviser” role within the Energy Department without explanation.

“We are also aware that a study conducted by an outside contractor, which the Department has had in its possession since April, outlines disturbing findings as to the state of counterintelligence across the Department, to include the national laboratories,” Risch wrote. 

“As you are well aware, the Department of Energy and the research it supports, especially at the national laboratories, is among the most important national security work undertaken by this country,” the letter continued. “The findings in the contractor study, which Congress requested, are deeply concerning.”

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The letter – which was signed by Republican Sens. John Barrasso, Marco Rubio, Steve Daines, Susan Collins, Bill Cassidy, Tom Cotton, Jerry Moran, John Cornyn and James Lankford – said if Black presided over the DOE-IN during a time when there were “serious shortcomings with regard to counterintelligence,” then Black shouldn’t be in any office with national security assignments. 

Barrasso is a ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources committee and Rubio is the Committee on Intelligence’s vice chairman.

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The senators are requesting answers regarding why Black was abruptly reassigned after 11 years and whether the contractor study influenced this decision, and seeking clarity on his new role within the department. 

It also seeks information about when the department received the study in April and its stance on the conclusions. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to the Department of Energy for comment.

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