Trump Dares Brennan to File Lawsuit over Loss of Security Clearance


by Sharon Rondeau

(Aug. 20, 2018) — Last Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced through his spokesperson at a press briefing that he was revoking the security clearance of Obama CIA Director John O. Brennan, effective immediately.

Along with that announcement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders articulated a list of individuals whose clearances are under review, including former FBI Director James Comey and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

Since that time, the list has expanded to include Justice Department attorney Bruce Ohr and now-terminated former Deputy counterintelligence chief Peter Strzok, among others.

On Monday morning, in response to Brennan’s threat of a lawsuit over his loss of the security clearance, Trump tweeted, “I hope John Brennan, the worst CIA Director in our country’s history, brings a lawsuit. It will then be very easy to get all his records, texts, emails and documents to show not only the poor job he did, but how he was involved with the Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt. He won’t sue!”

In a civil suit, the defendant has the right to obtain “discovery” materials, which could consist of emails, text messages, or any other documentation with the potential to shed light on the facts of the case between the two parties.

The “witch hunt” refers to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, assumed in May 2017 from the FBI, into whether or not anyone in the Trump campaign “colluded” with Russian operatives to tip the outcome of the 2016 election.  An increasing number of reports say that Brennan orchestrated the circulation to the intelligence community and former Sen. Harry Reid of an unverified “dossier” commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC as opposition research in 2016.

In dozens of tweets over the last 15 months or more, Trump has expressed his frustration at Mueller’s apparent lack of interest in the evidence that the Clinton campaign, indirectly through the political-research firm Fusion GPS, solicited the allegedly Russian-sourced material which became the foundation of Mueller’s probe.

On Wednesday Brennan pushed back at the announcement, stating that he “will not relent” in his criticism of Trump and his administration. Brennan maintains that his tweets, interviews and commentary are “not political at all.”

In February, Brennan became a “senior national security and intelligence analyst” at MSNBC.  Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, whose clearance is also under scrutiny, took a similar position at CNN in April.

Clapper was untruthful when asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2013 if collection of Americans’ communications was ongoing by the U.S. intelligence community.  The following year, Brennan falsely denied that the CIA was breaching the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee, after which an editorial writer at the left-leaning Washington Post called for his firing.

Trump’s second tweet on the subject on Monday labeled Brennan a “political hack.”

His reference to Brennan’s “protectors” is to dozens of former intelligence officials who have publicly denounced Trump’s decision.  One of those who signed a letter decrying Trump’s move, Gen. Michael Hayden (Ret), is currently under consideration for revocation of his own security clearance.

2 Responses to "Trump Dares Brennan to File Lawsuit over Loss of Security Clearance"

  1. James Carter   Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 3:47 PM

    Likewise, upon my Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1968, my TS NTK security clearance was automatically revoked. I also had to sign a 10-year non-disclosure agreement, violation of which would have made me subject to being charged with Treason and, in-turn, subject to the death penalty. Note lastly, unlike those seeking Congressional office or the Presidency, I had to pass a security clearance background investigation PRIOR to being schooled in the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) that required me to have a TS NTK security clearance.

    It is long past time for that to be changed, along with the outrageous disparity in retirement benefits for years served between members of Congress and the President vs military personnel…even high-ranking Officers.

  2. Glenn Harrison   Monday, August 20, 2018 at 5:20 PM

    After our public servants leave their government positions isn’t it about time that additionally that their clearances expire too? Thus, cutting off the gravy train and conflict of interest.

    Some twenty years ago I was honorably discharged from the Marines. Upon discharge, I am
    sure my final secret clearance expired too. This doesn’t seem to be the case for some federal career government employees. Maybe it is about time for a change…

    Sharon, perhaps this topic could be an item for a story item/article.

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