Senate Dems request probe of White House security clearances

Senate Dems request probe of White House security clearances
© Greg Nash

Four ranking Democrats on key committees are calling for an investigation into whether the White House is complying with security clearance policies following reports that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE pushed officials to grant clearances to his daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpA Trump visit to Africa is important — and carries some urgency On The Money: Cain 'very committed' to Fed bid despite opposition | Pelosi warns no US-UK trade deal if Brexit harms Irish peace | Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job Ivanka Trump says she turned down World Bank job MORE and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump claims Mueller didn't speak to those 'closest' to him It is wrong to say 'no collusion' The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? MORE 

Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions GOP senators divided on Trump trade pushback Hillicon Valley: Trump unveils initiatives to boost 5G | What to know about the Assange case | Pelosi warns tech of 'new era' in regulation | Dem eyes online hate speech bill MORE (Va.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions Five takeaways from Mueller's report Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (Calif.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Acting Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange MORE (N.J.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis Reed Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal Barr says 'spying' took place on Trump campaign MORE (R.I.) wrote on Friday to the director of national intelligence and the intelligence community inspector general requesting the probe.

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"We write to request that you review compliance by the Executive Office of the President (EOP) with policies and procedures governing security clearances and access to secure compartmented information (SCI)," they said in the letter.  

They added that published reports have raised questions about "irregularities and questionable decisions."

Among the allegations they mentioned were abuses in the granting of interim clearances and the revoking of a former senior intelligence official's clearance for "political retribution" — an apparent reference to former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen Brennan10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era Ten post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators Overnight Defense: House votes to end US support for Yemen war | Vote expected to force Trump's second veto of presidency | More Russian troops may head to Venezuela | First 'Space Force' hearing set for next week MORE.

They also singled out the over-ruling of unfavorable decisions by career officials and "the President’s decision himself to grant his daughter and son-in-law clearances" despite concerns from both the former chief of staff and counsel at the White House.

The senators requested that the intelligence officials give them the results of their review in 60 days. 

The New York Times reported last week that Trump pressured then-chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE to grant Kushner a top-secret clearance, overriding security concerns.

CNN reported Tuesday that Trump pressured Kelly and White House counsel Donald McGahnDonald (Don) F. McGahnThe Memo: Mueller's depictions will fuel Trump angst The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems face tricky balancing act after Mueller report New normal: A president can freely interfere with investigations without going to jail MORE to give Ivanka Trump security clearance despite their concerns. Over the summer, it came to light that White House aide Rob Porter had an interim security clearance for over a year despite domestic abuse allegations.