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A High-Ranking Commerce Department Official Was Removed By Security Last Week. The Department Won't Say Why.

Elizabeth Erin Walsh was escorted from the building by security last Thursday.

Posted on May 7, 2018, at 3:20 p.m. ET

Eric Thayer / Reuters

A high-ranking Department of Commerce official was escorted out of the department’s Washington, DC, headquarters by security last Thursday, according to three sources at the agency knowledgeable about the matter.

It is unknown why Elizabeth Erin Walsh was removed from the building, but the sources told BuzzFeed News that there’s an internal investigation underway that involves her, although they could not provide details about the nature of the probe.

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Walsh was nominated by President Donald Trump in May 2017 to serve as assistant secretary of commerce for global markets and director general of the US and Foreign Commercial Service, a position she began last August, after being confirmed by the Senate by a voice vote.

Walsh, a former Goldman Sachs vice president, previously served in the White House as special assistant to the president and associate director for presidential personnel. She has worked at the Department of State and Department of Energy and other federal government agencies for 12 years.

Walsh declined to comment about her removal, or the current status of her position. A Commerce Department spokeswoman also declined to comment.

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    Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He is a 2018 Pulitzer finalist for international reporting, recipient of the IRE 2016 FOI award and a 2016 Newseum Institute National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame inductee.

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