Trump to Pull Security Clearances from Many Others

Trump to Pull Security Clearances from Many Others August 19, 2018

Looks like John Brennan was just the beginning. As expected, Trump is prepared to yank the security clearances from pretty much every former DOJ and intelligence official who has been critical of him and the White House has already prepared the documents for him to sign doing exactly that.

The White House has drafted documents revoking the security clearances of current and former officials whom President Trump has demanded be punished for criticizing him or playing a role in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to senior administration officials.

Trump wants to sign “most if not all” of them, said one senior White House official, who indicated that communications aides, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Bill Shine, the newly named deputy chief of staff, have discussed the optimum times to release them as a distraction during unfavorable news cycles.

Some presidential aides echoed concerns raised by outside critics that the threatened revocations smack of a Nixonian enemies list, with little or no substantive national security justification. Particular worry has been expressed inside the White House about Trump’s statement Friday that he intends “very quickly” to strip the clearance of current Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Here’s where I think this is leading: He’s going to try to yank the security clearances of Robert Mueller and all of the investigators and prosecutors on his team. That’s his backdoor way of killing the investigation without actually killing it. Mueller could continue to pursue financial crimes and others that don’t involve classified information, but the entire Russian part of the investigation would have to shut down. Will that prompt Congress to finally act? I’ve pretty much lost hope in that. Just as there appears to be no limit to how brazen Trump’s actions will get, there also seems to be no limit to what the Republican-controlled Congress will tolerate.

Oh, they’ll pretend to be bothered by it. They may actually be bothered by it. They’ll shake their heads and purse their lips and talk about how concerned they are. But they won’t do a damn thing.

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