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 TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE pushed officials to grant clearances to his daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpPresident tweets 'few work harder' than Ivanka, Jared Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report Trump Jr. dismisses conflicts of interest, touts projects in Indonesia MORE and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerPresident tweets 'few work harder' than Ivanka, Jared PETA billboard in Baltimore calls Kushner a 'rich pest' Top immigration aide experienced 'jolt of electricity to my soul' when Trump announced campaign MORE 

Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong Facebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach New intel chief inherits host of challenges MORE (Va.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Trump administration urges Congress to reauthorize NSA surveillance program The Hill's Morning Report - More talk on guns; many questions on Epstein's death MORE (Calif.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid House passes temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans Senate panel advances bipartisan bill to lower drug prices amid GOP blowback MORE (N.J.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill What the gun safety debate says about Washington Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings 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 BrennanTrailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller A brief timeline of Trump's clashes with intelligence director Dan Coats 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. McGahnAmerica has no time to wait for impeachment Election agency limps into 2020 cycle The Memo: Mueller's depictions will fuel Trump angst 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.