Sen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances

Sen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances
© Anna Moneymaker

Senator Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: Trump pushes to speed up 5G rollout | Judge hits Roger Stone with full gag order | Google ends forced arbitration | Advertisers leave YouTube after report on pedophile ring Warner questions health care groups on cybersecurity Cohen to testify before Senate Intel on Tuesday MORE (D-Va.), the vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, announced Friday he would introduce an amendment curtailing the president’s ability to revoke security clearances from his critics.

“I will be introducing an amendment next week to block the President from punishing and intimidating his critics by arbitrarily revoking security clearances. Stay tuned,” he tweeted Friday evening. 

A Warner spokesperson confirmed to The Hill the amendment would be added to the minibus appropriations bill for the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Health and Human Services. She added that more details would be released Monday. 

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However, the amendment is likely to be more symbolic than anything else, as its chances of getting it on the government funding bill in the Republican-controlled Senate are slim.

Several GOP lawmakers including Sen. John CornynJohn CornynInviting Kim Jong Un to Washington Trump endorses Cornyn for reelection as O'Rourke mulls challenge O’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate MORE (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, have publicly supported Trump's decision, making it unlikely they would support Warner's forthcoming amendment.

To bring it up to get a vote on the Senate floor as part of the appropriations bill, Warner would need either the consent of every senator or to get Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Poll: 33% of Kentucky voters approve of McConnell Five takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump MORE (R-Ky.) or to get Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to agree to force a vote. Neither scenario is likely.

The amendment comes in response to the White House’s announcement this week it was revoking the security clearance of former CIA Director and frequent Trump critic John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump MORE.

It also threatened to do the same for nine others, all of whom have either been critical of the president or are connected in some way to the Mueller probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Democrats and some Republicans have criticized the move from the Trump administration. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the revocation a “pathetic attempt to silence critics.” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) called it "a banana republic kind of thing."