Sam Brinton, whom Alpha News noted was among the first “openly genderfluid individuals in federal government leadership,” has been placed on administrative leave following his being charged with felony theft.
Brinton, who serves as deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the U.S. Department of Energy, reportedly took a woman’s luggage when traveling and passing through Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) International Airport.
According to police records, Brinton allegedly removed a luggage identification tag from a Vera Bradley suitcase, placed the tag into his handbag and “then left the area at a quick pace.”
The criminal complaint indicates the incident occurred on September 16, 2022.
Political commentator BowTiedRanger tweeted: “Sam Brinton, the “gender fluid” Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Nuclear Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Department of Energy, was charged with felony theft last month after stealing ~$2,500 worth of women’s luggage at an airport.”
An Energy Department spokesperson told The Hill: “Sam Brinton is on leave from DOE, and Dr. Kim Petry is performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition.”
MSP Airport authorities confirmed to The Daily Wire that an investigation involving Sam Brinton is ongoing.
The Daily Wire reported that Brinton previously “caused a stir” when he “dressed in drag and boasted online about his puppy role-play fetish” shortly after his appointment to the prominent government position in June.
Soon after Brinton’s arrest in September, Donald Trump Jr. mocked Biden’s and Brinton’s judgment, tweeting:
“Joe Biden’s non-binary drag queen nuclear waste guru Sam Brinton, 34, is charged with theft after they were ‘caught on camera stealing a bag’ from Minneapolis Airport’s baggage claim.”
The Daily Wire reported the criminal complaint alleges that, after the theft, Brinton “left the airport in an Uber and checked into the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront hotel with the blue bag.”
Brinton reportedly returned to the airport two days later to board a flight to Washington, D.C. Airport surveillance video notes the stolen bag was in Brinton’s possession.
Airport authorities noted that surveillance video also shows the stolen suitcase belongs to a female passenger who arrived at MSP on a Delta flight from New Orleans.
According to a report, the owner of the bag notified law enforcement that her bag had been stolen and that the contents inside had an approximate value of $2,325.
The criminal complaint also notes that on October 9, approximately three weeks after the theft, surveillance video from Dulles International Airport in Virginia shows Brinton with the stolen bag in hand.
Authorities contacted Brinton the day he was spotted with the bag at Dulles International Airport and asked if he “took anything that did not belong” to him.
Brinton allegedly responded: “Not that I know of,” later saying, “If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual. That was my clothes when I opened the bag.”
Brinton reportedly called authorities back two hours later and apologized for not being “completely honest,” adding, he took the bag, blaming the incident on his “state of exhaustion.”
The complaint also notes that Brinton claimed he realized the bag was not his after opening it up at the hotel at which point he “got nervous” and “didn’t know what to do.”
The Daily Wire notes that “Brinton allegedly told authorities he removed the clothes from the suitcase in the hotel room” before returning to the airport to catch his flight to D.C. Brinton reports he took the bag with him “because it would have been weirder if he had left the bag at the hotel.”
Authorities report that hotel staff and investigators recovered no clothing from the hotel room.