Dem senator introduces proposal to rein in Trump on security clearances
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerRussia docs order sets Trump on collision with intel community Hillicon Valley: North Korean IT firm hit with sanctions | Zuckerberg says Facebook better prepared for midterms | Big win for privacy advocates in Europe | Bezos launches B fund to help children, homeless Bipartisan trio asks US intelligence to investigate ‘deepfakes’ MORE (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is trying to rein in President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE's ability to revoke the security clearances of the administration’s political critics.

Warner said on Monday that he filed the proposal as an amendment to the mammoth Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor and Education funding bill that's being debated by the Senate.

"President Trump’s actions over the last week are beyond outrageous," Warner said in a statement. "His tactics are reminiscent of another president who abused his office to settle scores and punish critics."

ADVERTISEMENT

He added that Trump is "setting an extremely dangerous precedent" by revoking former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanNew book: Putin tried to reinforce Trump’s belief in a ‘deep state’ undermining him Retired admiral resigned from Pentagon advisory committee after writing open letter to Trump Rand Paul ramps up his alliance with Trump MORE's security clearance and threatening to take the same step against several former intelligence officials.

"He’s using the powers of his office in an attempt to intimidate and silence his opponents, and he is politicizing a process that is, by design, supposed to be non-partisan and apolitical," Warner said.

Warner's amendment would block federal funding from being used to revoke an individual's security clearance unless it complies with two executive orders that outline who can have access to classified information or U.S. code that details what should be factored into whether a person should have access to classified information.

The amendment comes after Trump sparked bipartisan backlash by stripping Brennan, who has been a vocal critic of the White House, of his security clearance.

"The abuse of the powers of public office to silence critics, punish political enemies is exactly what goes on in dictatorships in banana republics and we're not one of those, thank god," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor earlier Monday.

The White House has said Trump is considering taking the same action against other former intelligence officials, including former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFBI memos detail ‘partisan axes,’ secret conflicts behind the Russia election meddling assessment New grounds for impeachment? House Dem says Trump deserves it for making society worse Sessions gets unexpected support - from a Democrat who wants to impeach Trump MORE and former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperFBI memos detail ‘partisan axes,’ secret conflicts behind the Russia election meddling assessment Foreign hackers a legitimate concern for ballot machines, says cybersecurity expert Dem strategist: 'Genuine concern' Russia will escalate interference efforts in 2018 MORE.

Trump threatened similar action against Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official who has come under fire from Republicans for his links to Fusion GPS, the firm behind a controversial dossier on Trump.

Warner faces an uphill battle to getting a vote on his amendment. Top Republicans have backed Trump's decision to remove Brennan's security clearance.

To get a vote on his amendment as part of the Senate's debate on the government funding bill, Warner would need the consent of every senator or support from Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump hints at new executive action on immigration, wants filibuster-proof Senate majority The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE (R-Ky.), who could force a vote on the proposal.