What Are my chances after coming clean to investigator?

Recently I have been granted interim secret clearance however I have been less than honest and would like to make my correction to the investigator when we meet. I checked no when asked if I have done any drugs in the last 7 years when I should’ve checked yes. It was a dumb mistake that looking back at it now I should’ve known better and just been truthful. Even though there is no excuse for this I will say I did it under the fear that the question was a sort of gotcha question that automatically disqualifies me and thus losing my job. I only did Marijuana one time three years and do not plan to do it ever again. After researching I understand that it’s not going to be the drugs that will get me it will be the lying. With that being said I would like to know based on your experience and expertise what do you think are my chances of getting full clearance and what steps can I take to try to mitigate this issue. I have contacted multiple people I have listed and none of them have been contacted so I feel it may still be early in the investigation and I can get ahead of the curve if possible.
Thank you for your time

Lying on the forms is taken very seriously. I guess all you can do at this point is come clean like you say and hope for the best.

Was this the first time you ever filled out these forms? I dont know if that helps.

Unfortunately you are now in a tough spot.

It is, it’s part of my first job out of college. I’m clean on every other aspect of the form no dept, criminal record or foreign issues though I do not know if that will save me at this point.

There are no “gotcha!” questions on any security questionnaires or forms. Ever. These questions are black and white.

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Yeah I understand now. I was always under the impression that government officials where sort of button up’d and clean as a whistle so to speak. I figured that the question was a way to weed applicants because it was a way for them to get someone to admit to something illegal and immediately disqualify them. I see now that it is meant only to see all the facts in front of them to make a respectable decision.

Some federal law enforcement agencies have questions like that which popup on their careers site. But not the SF-86/eQIP

And then there’s the current US government administration :wink:


Coming clean is always best. Recently I had these conversations with young Subjects. “so, no illegal drug use within the last seven years?” “No”. “This includes marijuana or any misuse of prescription drugs, so no illegal drug use?” "Nossir!

Then I pause to give them that last reflection and they remain silent.

“Well, during the course of the investigation, information was developed…”

THEN they confess and almost always want me to give them my “guess” how this will impact their joining the military/clearance…

Your very last chance to rescue yourself from the Personal Conduct issue is tell the investigator before hand.

Of course, the best method is to be honest in the first place.


Which is 1000 times better than the previous one.


Yet the former administration never had a counterintelligence investigation against its campaign administration, so, there’s that. :wink: Keep reaching though!


Wait are you saying if I come clean I won’t get personal conduct or I will reduce my chances of getting personal conduct?

Also hypothetically if there wasn’t a chance they would’ve found out in my case had I not told them would it help me and also would the opposite for hurt my case if it would’ve been easily to find out?

The former administration started said investigation illegally, which needs to be investigated and MANY individuals, including the former president, should be in jail.


Has an investigator called you to schedule an interview and/or have you had any contact with an investigator yet whatsoever?

Good thing SF86 or the polygrapher don’t ask a question like: do you support your current administration? That would have given people with biases a field day against you.

You will get a Personal Conduct code because you intentionally lied on a form where you certified your answers as true. Your belief, former or not, that Feds are stuffy and squeaky clean so honestly/integrity is optional does not negate your initial response. The volunteering the information helps to mitigate the severity of that issue.

Not mentioning the past drug use compounds the issue if we don’t discover it this time. Marijuana use by itself is a minor issue. Lying on the form is much worse issue that will now float in the background for the rest of your cleared life.

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I hope what you mean is that, should you get cleared, it is liable to pop up on every subsequent investigation. Employers will never know about.

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No not yet and they have not contacted anyone that I know personally

Look. Seems that we have eons of historical common sense data that says if you lie about “little” things why wouldn’t you lie about big things? Integrity means owning up to your mistakes, learning from them and changing behaviors. Not everyone is cut out for a clearance or to keep it due to integrity issues that may translate into transgressions of security or just immature behaviors that cause employment problems across the spectrum.

If you lie on your form, best thing is to admit it ASAP during interview. Damage already done; train left the station.

The chips will fall as they fall. We’re all flawed humans that’s for sure. No matter how the decision goes just try to be the best moral person you can for your own soul’s sake and learn from this. I truly wish you well.

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Well as backgdinvestigator stated, lying is a huge issue. The best way to rectify your situation would be to come clean to your investigator AS SOON AS he/she calls you and not waiting until the interview. Now you mentioned this was for a secret clearance, so there may or may not be an interview. In that case, the only thing I can think of would be to tell your FSO/security office and hope for the best.

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Why tell on yourself now? If it can’t be proven it didn’t happen. Don’t have this follow you around. You did it once. Doesn’t sound like you’re a pothead. Hopefully this message reaches you in time.