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Monday, August 27, 2018

Trump must stop revoking security clearances to attack his political foes

Langevin, Schiff, Lieu introduce bill to stop Presidential abuse of security clearance process

Image result for trump revokes security clearanceU.S. Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced legislation to prevent President Trump from exploiting the security clearance process for acts of political retribution. 

“President Trump has shown an alarming tendency to attack members of our intelligence and law enforcement communities when he believes it will be to his political benefit. His recent decision and subsequent threats to revoke the clearances of current and former national security officials is an unconscionable abuse of power, and it underscores the need to protect this process from further political influence,” said Congressman Langevin, a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

“This legislation takes important steps to ensure security clearance decisions are based solely on national security considerations, not political bias or retribution.”

“President Trump has set a dangerous precedent by revoking or threatening to revoke the security clearances of current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials to punish his critics. For those who depend on a security clearance for their livelihood, this effort to create and impose potentially career ending consequences on individuals who appear on the president’s enemies list is unlawful and un-American,” said Congressman Adam Schiff,

Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee. “In July, Speaker Ryan suggested the President was simply ‘trolling’ in making threats — that is clearly not the case. The Congress must ensure that the process by which clearances are granted and revoked is governed by national security concerns, not politics or presidential temper tantrums.”

“Trump’s revocation of John Brennan’s security clearance is petty and vindictive. The President has made a sport of using his broad authority to help his friends and attack his perceived enemies. That’s why safeguarding our security clearance process is critical—we have to prevent these kinds of abuses and provide proper recourse for those impacted,” said Congressman Ted Lieu.

“Trump shouldn’t be playing games with our national security. I’m grateful to join Representatives Langevin and Schiff in introducing this bill, though I wish our President didn’t make it necessary.”

This legislation establishes similar parameters to those set forward in an amendment to the defense appropriations bill offered by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Specifically, it prohibits the granting, denying or revoking of access, or eligibility for access, to classified information except in accordance with Part 147 of title 32, Code of Federal Regulations, and Executive Orders 12968 and 13467 as in effect on August 15, 2018.

Text of the bill is available here.