Elijah Cummings Demands Info on Trump’s Decision to Revoke Former CIA Director’s Clearance
Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on Thursday penned a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, demanding an explanation of Donald Trump's decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. Trump blamed Brennan’s "erratic conduct," but many argue it was political payback. In the letter, Cummings called for documentation explaining Trump’s process to revoke Brennan’s security clearance, but not to suspend or revoke the clearance of his own top aides, General Michael Flynn and Staff Secretary Robert Porter (who were under investigation for criminal activity), and others. “As an initial matter, if making ‘outrageous’ statements or engaging in ‘wild outbursts on the Internet and television’ were grounds for denying access to classified information, many of the president’s top aides — indeed, perhaps even the president himself — would be swept into this unprecedented new category,” Cummings wrote. He also suggested that by revoking Brennan's security status due to his public criticism of the president, Trump may have failed to follow proper executive order procedures set by former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. “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 Congressman continued. “The American people expect the security clearance process to be adjudicated by neutral professionals, following the established standards set forth in the Executive Order.” More here.