Brennan Considering Legal Action Over Clearance Revocation

Turkey tariffs

Unlike some other officials the White House has said Trump is targeting, Ohr is still employed at the department and stripping him of his security clearance might make it impossible for him to continue some or all of his duties there. Ohr is still in the Justice Department, and was reportedly meeting with Christopher Steele, the British spy who complied the famous "dossier" on Trump's alleged ties to Russian Federation.

Mr Trump revoked the security clearance of Mr Brennan on Wednesday and warned several other prominent critics that they too risk being blacklisted.

"We all agree that the president's action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances - and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech", the former CIA directors, deputy directors and directors of national intelligence said.

Former CIA directors and other top national security officials are typically allowed to keep their clearances, at least for some period. "Beyond that, this action is quite clearly a signal to other former and current officials", the former top officials said in their Thursday statement.

On Friday evening, another group of 60 former intelligence officers released their own letter criticizing the use of security clearance as a political tool.

Trump's actions have been widely condemned, including by respected former Adm. William McRaven, the commander of the U.S. Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Hayden warned the action will have a "chilling effect" on the entire intelligence community, "that if you disagree with the president, if you say things with which the president disagrees or he does not like, he is willing to take punitive action against you". He called Brennan "one of the finest public servants I have ever known" and a man of "unparalleled integrity".

White House officials will nearly certainly avoid answering any questions about the process, or lack thereof, surrounding their new security clearance standards.

Brennan wrote that it is "critically important" that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III be permitted to complete his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign coordinated with Russia.

According to reports Thursday, Bruce Ohr stands to lose his job at the department if the president revokes his security clearance.

"So I think it's something that had to be done", he said. He told the Journal he doesn't trust "many of those people on that list" and thinks they aren't "good people".

Sanders announced the Brennan decision Wednesday, citing what she called his "erratic conduct" and "wild outbursts" on television, as well as allegedly erroneous statements he had made.

They also defended Brennan's character and called allegations against Brennan of wrongdoing "baseless".

Sen. Richard Burr -chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee- slammed Brennan after the New York Times published the piece, saying his brash comments likely violated federal protocol and regulations surrounding classified information. "Mr. Trump's claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash".

The only question remaining is whether the collusion amounts to a "constituted criminally liable conspiracy", Brennan wrote.

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