Nonbinary ex-Biden energy official Sam Brinton ordered to undergo mental-health evaluation

Nonbinary ex-Biden energy official Sam Brinton ordered to undergo mental-health evaluation

President Biden’s nonbinary Energy Department official and serial luggage thief must undergo a mental-health evaluation.

The Daily Mail reported Tuesday that Sam Brinton agreed this week to a diversion program in a bid to avoid jail time for airport luggage theft for the second time in a week.

Brinton, 35, had been charged with felony theft in a Sept. 16 pilfering at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, in which a woman’s Vera Bradley suitcase with $2,325 worth of contents was snatched from baggage claim.

The diversion program also requires Brinton, according to the Daily Mail, to pen a written apology, return the stolen items to the victim, and do three days of community service.

If Brinton performs satisfactorily under the diversion program, there will be no jail time. The former federal official had faced up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Brinton had been deputy assistant secretary of the Energy Department’s office of spent fuel and waste disposition but was fired when an arrest warrant was issued in a similar theft in Nevada.

Before being let go, the Energy Department had hailed Brinton as a barrier breaker because of the nonbinary identification.

According to the criminal complaint, Brinton removed a tag from the luggage of a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight from Washington to Minneapolis.

The airline confirmed that Brinton, who was seen on the airport’s surveillance footage claiming luggage, actually didn’t check in any bags. The victim also identified the baggage Brinton was carrying as hers.

The hearing Monday came a week after Brinton pleaded “no contest” to a similar theft at the Las Vegas airport. Brinton got a suspended sentence of 180 days in prison and ordered to pay $3,670 to that victim.

According to Las Vegas authorities, Brinton was spotted on the baggage claim area’s surveillance cameras taking a $320 woman’s Away-brand bag that contained more than $3,500 worth of jewelry, clothing and cosmetics.

The victim and Brinton had flown on the same United flight from Washington Dulles International Airport.

Brinton, who does not identify as either male or female, was described in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s arrest warrant, as “a white male adult wearing a white T-shirt with a large rainbow-colored atomic nuclear symbol design.”

A third luggage-theft charge has been made against Brinton.

Tanzanian fashion designer Asya Khamsin has claimed that Brinton wore certain custom-made outfits for a Vanity Fair photoshoot that she had stolen from her in 2018 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

She saw those images on TV in a news report about Brinton’s other luggage-theft cases.

“I saw the images. Those were my custom designs, which were lost in that bag in 2018,” Ms. Khamsin told Fox News Digital in an interview. “He wore my clothes, which [were] stolen.”

 Matt Delaney contributed to this report.

• Victor Morton can be reached at


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