Cummings Wants Explanation on Why Trump Revoked Brennan’s Clearance

Cummings Wants Explanation on Why Trump Revoked Brennan's Clearance

The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requested more information Thursday on President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke ex-CIA chief John Brennan’s security clearance.

In a memo to White House chief of staff John Kelly, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., wrote that if Trump rescinded Brennan’s security status over his public criticism of the president, it would violate the process set in place by executive orders of previous presidents.

“I am writing to request documents relating to the process used by President Donald Trump to revoke the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan — and possibly nine other former officials — after allowing several of his own top White House aides to continue assessing our nation’s most sensitive secrets while under investigation for criminal activity,” Cummings wrote.

Cummings did not clarify who he meant in referring to top White House aides. The Hill speculated it could have been a nod to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“It appears that President Trump has invented an entirely new standard for revoking security clearances,” Cummings wrote.

“The Executive Order does not provide for revoking a security clearance because an individual is a political adversary of the President or for using revocation as a tool for political retribution. The American people expect the security clearance process to be adjudicated by neutral professionals, following the established standards set forth in the Executive Order,” he added.

Cummings claims the standard indicated by Trump’s official statement would disqualify many White House staffers, “indeed, perhaps the President himself” from receiving a clearance.

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