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 TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE pushed officials to grant clearances to his daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump administration awarding M in housing grants to human trafficking survivors Deutsche Bank launches investigation into longtime banker of Trump, Kushner Watchdog group accuses Stephen Miller of violating Hatch Act with Biden comments MORE and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerDeutsche Bank launches investigation into longtime banker of Trump, Kushner Watchdog group accuses Stephen Miller of violating Hatch Act with Biden comments Ivanka and Kushner earned at least M in outside income last year: financial disclosures MORE 

Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Intel panel approves final Russia report, moves toward public release Former Virginia House speaker Kirk Cox mulling run for governor Mini-exodus of Trump officials from Commerce to lobby on semiconductors MORE (Va.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocrats want Biden to debate Trump despite risks Mini-exodus of Trump officials from Commerce to lobby on semiconductors Doug Collins questions Loeffler's trustworthiness in first TV ad MORE (Calif.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezVOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage Bottom line Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads MORE (N.J.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled Overnight Defense: Pompeo pressed on move to pull troops from Germany | Panel abruptly scraps confirmation hearing | Trump meets family of slain soldier 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 BrennanSenate panel scraps confirmation hearing for controversial Pentagon nominee at last minute Brennan memoir slated for October, says Trump blocked him from accessing records Graham postpones Russia probe subpoena vote as tensions boil over 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.