Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said President Donald Trump’s revocation of ex-CIA chief John Brennan’s security clearance could be the basis for constitutional violations.
“I do think if the president denies security clearance only to his critics, he will be in court on the wrong side,” Dershowitz told Hannity.
The professor conceded “it would be a close question.”
“[Trump is] not shutting them down,” Dershowitz said of the security revocation. “They just don’t have access to the material. If they don’t have access to the material, what that means it’s some way punishing for their expression of political views, then I think you can have some first amendment issues that are raised.”
“If the case went up to the Supreme Court, it would be like the case involving the travel ban,” he added. “The court would ask the question: ‘Are we allowed to look at the motive of the president in doing this, or do we look at the action?’
“The president clearly has the power to revoke security clearance . . . but if he does it for an impermissible basis . . . it would be a basis for constitutional violations.”
Dershowitz said he both knows and likes Brennan and believes “he was a good director of the CIA.”
“But I think he’s gone overboard in his criticism” of Trump, he said.
“It makes it sound, when he makes criticism, that he knows it because he was in the CIA – he has some special information,” he said. “I think a former director of the CIA has to be much more discreet in his level of criticism.”
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