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

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: Trump pushes to speed up 5G rollout | Judge hits Roger Stone with full gag order | Google ends forced arbitration | Advertisers leave YouTube after report on pedophile ring Warner questions health care groups on cybersecurity Cohen to testify before Senate Intel on Tuesday MORE (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is trying to rein in President TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border 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: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff 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 SchumerDon’t look for House GOP to defy Trump on border wall GOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win 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 ComeyRosenstein: My time at DOJ is 'coming to an end' Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump FBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it MORE and former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperThe Hill's Morning Report - What to watch for as Mueller’s probe winds down Mueller report may be 'anti-climactic,' says ex-intelligence director Intelligence chiefs should be commended, despite Trump's attacks on them 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 McConnellKids confront Feinstein over Green New Deal Trump selects Kelly Craft for United Nations ambassador Union leader says Green New Deal would make infrastructure bill ‘absolutely impossible’ MORE (R-Ky.), who could force a vote on the proposal.