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DAILY MAIL EXCLUSIVE: Republicans demand non-binary drag queen in charge of nuclear waste is FIRED after arrest for stealing a woman's luggage in letter to Biden's Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

A group of Republican lawmakers are demanding a non-binary Department of Energy (DOE) scientist resign after they admitted to stealing a suitcase from the luggage carousel at the airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Sam Brinton, the DOE's Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition, was recently placed on leave following the felony theft charges, but GOP representatives are calling for further action.

Calls for resignations came in a letter sent Tuesday to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm and exclusively obtained by The effort is being led by Georgia Representative Andrew Clyde and signed by 15 other Republican lawmakers, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Andy Biggs and Nancy Mace.

'[W]e demand the resignation of Sam Brinton, and we implore you to set aside petty politics and appoint only the most qualified and dedicated individuals to influence America's energy sector,' the letter reads.

Brinton, a 34-year-old non-binary drag queen, admitted to taking a Vera Bradley suitcase that did not belong to them at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on September 16 after previously lying to police and denying they stole the luggage.

The DOE assistant did not check a bag when flying from Washington, D.C. to Minnesota, but surveillance footage shows them leaving the airport in Minneapolis with luggage from a carousel. Brinton admitted to hiding the owner's belongings from the suitcase in a hotel room.

The suitcase and its contents are valued at $2,325 and Brinton has been seen using the stolen luggage on multiple trips to D.C. since stealing it in mid-September.

Brinton stands charged with felony theft, which could result in five years in prison, as well as a $10,000 fine.

'As an appointed official, Sam Brinton represents both your Department and the United States,' the Tuesday letter states. 'It is simply not possible for an individual to represent American values and simultaneously violate the felony laws of the land.'

When placing Brinton on leave, the DOE did not provide context that the employment status change was the result of a felony charge, leading the GOP lawmakers to accuse the Department of a lack of transparency.

'Brinton's actions, along with your Department's lack of transparency when dealing with this matter, reflect poorly on the Department of Energy, and they raise concern as to the Biden Administration's priorities when appointing high-ranking officials. It is imperative that we do not allow a person charged with a felony to influence America's policies,' the lawmakers added.

The co-singers of Clyde's letter are Representatives Brian Babin, Troy Nehls, Randy Weber and Louie Gohmert of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Yvette Herrell of New Mexico, Clay Higgins of Louisiana, Doug LaMalfa of California, Nancy Mace and Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Barry Moore of Alabama, Bill Posey of Florida and Claudia Tenney of New York.

President Joe Biden 's Department of Energy is refusing to say if Brinton is still being paid after being put on leave.

Brinton was pictured December 1 outside of their home in Rockville, Maryland , where they live with their husband Rieck. The couple married in 2019 having dated since 2015.

The nuclear waste worker made headlines earlier this year after announcing on LinkedIn that they had become Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition at DOE, becoming the first non-binary person to accept a position in federal government leadership.

Brinton has not been at work for over a month.

Kim Petry, the acting deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel, is standing in and has told coworkers she had been asked to stay on as head of the spent fuel office 'for the foreseeable future' by Kathryn Huff, assistant secretary for nuclear energy.

Brinton told police initially after the incident that they 'accidentally' took the suitcase and its contents from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on September 16 around 4:45 pm.

In a complaint from October 27, it is alleged Brinton was seen caught on airport surveillance cameras removing 'a navy blue hard-sided roller bag' from a baggage claim carousel.

On the same day, the bag was reported missing by a woman.


After reviewing several surveillance videos she identified the bag as hers adding that the total value of items in the allegedly stolen bag was roughly $2,325.

Video that has not been released to the public sees Brinton 'removing the blue bag's tag and putting the bag tag in the handbag they were carrying,' and 'leaving the area at a quick pace,' the complaint details.

Law enforcement quickly tracked them down with Brinton initially denying taking anything.

'If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don't have clothes for another individual,' Brinton told police, according to the complaint. 'That was my clothes when I opened the bag.'

They suddenly had a change of heart and called the airport police to come clean, noting that they had not been 'completely honest' and 'admitted to taking the blue bag.'

Brinton revised their statement excusing the behavior as a result of being 'tired and taking the suitcase thinking it was theirs.' It was only after opening the bag Brinton claims they realized it wasn't theirs adding that they were 'nervous people would think they stole the bag and did not know what to do.'

They then went on to claim that the clothes contained in the suitcase had been placed in a drawer at the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront hotel, where they were staying.

No clothes were ever found at the hotel and at the time of the complaint's filing in October, Brinton had not returned the bag. 


Brinton has been keeping busy while on leave, presenting late last month at the Los Angeles Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites a seminar named: 'Spanking: From Calculus To Chemistry.'

The event was titled: 'LA Leather Getaway' and was sponsored by CLAW Corp., a national leather charity.

Brinton, who presented at the event under the pseudonym, NuclearNerd, has been teaching their 'Physics of Kink' class at universities and community events 'across the country for years,' according to their profile on CLAW's website.

The bio goes on to say: 'They have been active in the kink world since 2013, host monthly kink parties in their dungeon in Washington, DC, and estimate they have spanked over 2,000 cute butts.'

Brinton is listed in CLAW's 2019 year book under the name Sir Sam Brinton where they taught a class on the 'Newtonian physics of spanking.' They added: 'Physics is a pivotal part of the kink experience.' They were pictured at the event in 2021 as well.

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Phone: (202) 225-9893
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Phone: (470) 768-6520
Map of U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde's office locations