WASHINGTON – Former CIA Director John Brennan stated Sunday that he’s contemplating taking authorized motion to attempt to stop President Donald Trump from stripping different present and former officers’ safety clearances.
Talking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Brennan stated he’s been contacted by a variety of attorneys about the potential for an injunction within the wake of Trump’s transfer to revoke his clearance and threaten 9 others who’ve been vital of the president or are related to the Russia probe.
WATCH: John Brennan says he ‘was not informed’ safety clearance was underneath evaluation
“If my clearances and my repute as I’m being pulled via the mud now, if that’s the value we’re going to pay to stop Donald Trump from doing this in opposition to different individuals, to me it’s a small worth to pay,” Brennan stated. “So I’m going to do no matter I can personally to attempt to stop these abuses sooner or later. And if it means going to courtroom, I’ll try this.”
Brennan, who served in President Barack Obama’s administration, stated that whereas he’ll struggle on behalf of his former CIA colleagues, it’s additionally as much as Congress to place apart politics and step in. “That is the time that your nation goes to depend on you, to not do what’s greatest to your occasion however what’s greatest for the nation,” he stated.
Trump yanked Brennan’s safety clearance final week, saying he felt he needed to do “one thing” concerning the “rigged” probe of Russian election interference. And he has stated he could do the identical for 9 others, together with a Justice Division official whose spouse labored for the agency concerned in producing a file on Trump’s ties to Russia.
An govt order signed in 1995 by President Invoice Clinton lays out the method for approving safety clearances and describes an in depth revocation and enchantment process.
Former Obama-era CIA Director Leon Panetta, who additionally served as defence secretary, stated Sunday that Trump should abide by the manager order until he decides to vary or cancel it. Talking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” he stated Trump’s determination to revoke Brennan’s clearance raises questions on whether or not he adopted due course of.
Brennan’s authorized warning got here as different officers joined the rising refrain of critics _ now greater than 75 intelligence officers _ denouncing Trump’s safety clearance threats, saying they’ve a proper to specific their views on nationwide safety points with out concern of punishment.
Retired Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees underneath George W. Bush and Obama, likened it to President Richard Nixon’s use of a political enemies record.
Mullen informed “Fox Information Sunday” that whereas he doesn’t agree with Brennan’s determination to criticize the president, the previous CIA director has the proper to freedom of speech until he’s revealing labeled info.
“It instantly brings again the entire idea of the enemies record,” Mullen stated, “and even earlier than that, within the early ’50s, the McCarthy period, the place the administration begins placing collectively lists of people that don’t agree with them and that traditionally, clearly, has confirmed extremely problematic for the nation.”
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin agreed with Trump that Brennan’s feedback “actually did cross a line.”
However, he stated, somewhat than pulling officers’ safety clearances, Trump ought to keep away from politicizing the difficulty and easily deny them entry to labeled materials.
“I don’t wish to see an enemies record,” he stated.