Update: President Biden’s nuclear energy waste official Samuel Brinton, who was charged with felony theft in September, also served as a nuclear waste adviser in the Trump administration and under former President Barack Obama.
Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter on Monday night to troll Brinton. However, several of his followers reminded him that Brinton, who uses the pronouns they/them, also worked in his father’s administration.
Who could have seen this coming from they/them? pic.twitter.com/x1AQBRb2qb
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 29, 2022
Brinton, 34, went viral in June as the first “gender-fluid” official at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
“It’s official. As of June 19th, I now serve my nation as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy in the Department of Energy,” Brinton tweeted on June 29.
It’s official. As of June 19th, I now serve my nation as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy in the Department of Energy. pic.twitter.com/zLq3Bf97X2
— Sam Brinton (@sbrinton) June 29, 2022
The state of Minnesota arrested Brinton in October after a woman filed theft charges against Brinton. The woman told police she noticed her Vera Bradley designer suitcase was missing from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s baggage claim area.
According to a criminal complaint filed Oct. 27 in Minnesota’s 4th Judicial District Court, the victim noticed her luggage was missing from the baggage area after arriving on a flight on September 16. The woman said the distinctive Vera Bradley designer bag was worth $2,325.
Brinton was seen on surveillance video removing “a navy blue hard-sided roller bag” from a baggage claim carousel that same day.
Brinton “removed the blue bag’s tag and put the bag tag in the handbag they were carrying,” and “left the area at a quick pace,” the complaint said.
The woman identified the bag as hers after viewing multiple surveillance videos, according to the complaint.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police Department confirmed that Brinton had arrived on an American Airlines flight from Washington, and had not checked a bag on that flight. Police say there was no reason for Brinton to visit the baggage claim area.
Brinton reportedly checked into a room at the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront hotel and was later seen on airport surveillance video traveling with the designer bag on two occasions.
Last month, airport police contacted Brinton who initially denied taking a bag from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in September.
“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have clothes for another individual,” Brinton told law enforcement, according to the complaint. “That was my clothes when I opened the bag.”
However, 2 hours later, Brinton called the officer back and confessed to “not being completely honest.” Brinton “admitted to taking the blue bag,” according to the complaint.
Brinton allegedly “took the suitcase thinking it was theirs.” After opening the bag, Brinton was allegedly “nervous people would think they stole the bag and did not know what to do.”
The criminal complaint stated the government official removed the woman’s clothing from the bag and placed the items in dresser drawers in the hotel room before leaving with the suitcase. However, the hotel staff did not find any clothing in the room after the guest checked out that day.
“For the very first time in U.S. history, we are getting dollars out the door to build capacity for consent-based siting.”
— ECA (@EnergyCAorg) September 22, 2022
Brinton has been on leave from the Dept. of Energy for at least a month, the DOE acknowledged.
Kim Petry is the acting deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel while Brinton is on leave. In an email to DOE colleagues, Petry said that 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.
A hearing on the felony theft charge is scheduled for December 16 in a Minnesota courtroom.
The victim told a reporter Brinton still has not returned her designer bag to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.