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Fashion Designer: Sam Brinton Was Wearing My Stolen Clothes

Holland McKinnie
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The reports surrounding allegations of luggage theft against Joe Biden’s former Department of Energy official Sam Brinton took a new turn this week. Tanzanian fashion designer Asya Khamsin claimed on Wednesday Brinton had worn her custom designs in public after they were stolen from her luggage at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in 2018. 

Khamsin filed a police report with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department and a claim with Delta Air Lines at the time, but the case has remained unsolved. Khamsin said she recently noticed Brinton wearing clothing similar to her missing designs and posted photos on social media supporting her claims.

Brinton, who had been celebrated as the first openly gender-fluid person in a federal government position, was recently fired from his job at the Department of Energy after multiple accusations of luggage theft at airports. He has been charged with stealing a suitcase worth $2,325 from a Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport baggage carousel in September and with grand larceny of an item worth between $1,200 and $5,000 last July at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. 

Brinton had traveled on flights from Washington, D.C., in both instances. He has not yet been charged with crimes related to Khamsin’s accusations.

Khamsin said she had flown to Washington, D.C., in 2018 to attend an event where she was invited to display her clothing. However, the disappearance of her luggage prevented her from participating. After filing a complaint with the Houston Police Department on December 16, she received a phone call from the FBI field office in Minneapolis regarding the complaint in late January. 


Khamsin’s husband said, “Houston police, I guess, they sent the case to the FBI in Minnesota. He called to say, ‘I’m [with] the FBI, I’m working on this case.’ Then my wife gave him the information, and we didn’t hear anything. We don’t know whether the case is on. We don’t know whether the case is cold.”

The FBI declined to comment, citing its policy against confirming or denying investigations. Meanwhile, Brinton faces significant fines and jail time for the other alleged airport luggage thefts. 

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