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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 TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE pushed officials to grant clearances to his daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Women set to take key roles in Biden administration New York expands Trump tax fraud investigations to include write-offs: report MORE and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Pompeo becomes first top US diplomat to visit Israeli settlement, labels boycotts anti-Semitic NYT's Bruni suggests Ivanka Trump, Kushner move to North Korea or Saudi Arabia MORE 

Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHarris shares Thanksgiving recipe: 'During difficult times I have always turned to cooking' Biden leans on foreign policy establishment to build team Trump relents as GSA informs Biden transition to begin MORE (Va.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee MORE (Calif.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDemocrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff Democratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Trump appointee sparks bipartisan furor for politicizing media agency MORE (N.J.) and Jack ReedJack ReedTop Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Trump fires Defense chief Mark Esper | Worries grow about rudderless post-election Pentagon | Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up | Pelosi says Esper firing shows Trump intent on sowing 'chaos' Esper firing hints at broader post-election shake-up 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 BrennanBrennan takes final shot at Trump: 'I leave his fate to our judicial system, his infamy to history, & his legacy to a trash heap' The new marshmallow media in the Biden era New Defense chief signals potential troop drawdown: 'All wars must end' 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. McGahnCongress hits rock bottom in losing to the president in subpoena ruling Rudy Giuliani's reputation will never recover from the impeachment hearings In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book 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.