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 TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE pushed officials to grant clearances to his daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpManufacturers group kicks off campaign to close the industry's skills gap Fed chief issues stark warning to Congress on deficits Rally crowd chants '46' for Donald Trump Jr. MORE and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Democrats duke it out during Nevada debate Blagojevich heaps praise on Trump after release from prison The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms MORE 

Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump officially makes Richard Grenell acting intelligence chief Top Democrat on Senate Intel panel pans Trump's DNI pick Trump expected to tap Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as acting intel chief MORE (Va.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinCalifornia lawmakers mark Day of Remembrance for Japanese internment Democratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe House passes bipartisan bill to create women's history museum MORE (Calif.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMenendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (N.J.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedLawmakers wary as US on cusp of initial deal with Taliban Pavlich: The Senate defends its integrity Five Senate Democrats make impeachment case in Spanish 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 BrennanDOJ attorney looking into whether CIA withheld info during start of Russia probe: NYT Federal prosecutor looking into Brennan's role in Russian interference findings: report FISA court's rebuke of the FBI: It broke or ignored the rules and our rights 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. McGahnRudy Giuliani's reputation will never recover from the impeachment hearings In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book America has no time to wait for impeachment 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.