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

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerA bold fix for US international taxation of corporations Democrats offer competing tax ideas on Biden infrastructure Five ways an obscure Senate ruling could change Washington MORE (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is trying to rein in President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' 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."


He added that Trump is "setting an extremely dangerous precedent" by revoking former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal Online and frighteningly real: 'A Taste of Armageddon' 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 SchumerChuck SchumerTop academics slam Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act NY Times beclowns itself by normalizing court-packing 'to balance the conservative majority' The first Southern state legalizes marijuana — what it means nationally 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 ComeyShowtime developing limited series about Jan. 6 Capitol riot Wray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges MORE and former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert Clapper140 national security leaders call for 9/11-style panel to review Jan. 6 attack The biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community 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 McConnellTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Senate GOP opens door to earmarks McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE (R-Ky.), who could force a vote on the proposal.