Rachel Maddow sounded the alarm Thursday when she said that Trump isn’t just going after his critics by removing security clearances. He’s also systematically targeting the witnesses against him in the Mueller probe. And here’s why that matters….
On Thursday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out that Trump isn’t just abusing his power by attacking his critics. He’s also systematically targeting the witnesses against him in the Mueller probe.
One of the practical effects of Trump stripping security clearances from former intelligence officials who have been critical of him is that they can no longer review their own classified files before testifying.
“What if the practical effect of taking away a security clearance from a former official who was involved in the formative stages of the Russian investigation is that you interfere with that former official accessing his or her own notes and files? His or her own materials? From the former agency where those people worked during their time working on the Russia investigation.”
“According to Brennan, that’s something that you’d need to do and that you might employ your security clearance to do if you’re going to be questioned on these matters as part of ongoing investigations. Look at the list. Look at almost all the names on the list of people the president wants to do this to. Brennan, CIA director during the Russia attack. Clapper, director of national intelligence during the Russia attack. Comey, director of the FBI during the Russia attack. McCabe, deputy director of the FBI during the Russia attack. Strzok, head of counterintelligence at the FBI during the Russia attack. Susan Rice, national security adviser during the Russia attack. Sally Yates, deputy attorney general during the Russia attack.”
“Security clearances may or may not be something any of these people are using for their current work. But if they are stripped of their clearances or blocked from ever getting them again, what does that do to their ability to prepare for testimony and to testify if need be? We have good reason, after all, to think that a bunch of these people might have important things to say, provided they can speak about classified material in a classified setting.”
It’s worth noting that Trump himself said that the whole reason he took the clearance from Brennan and is planning to take clearance from several others is because of the Russia investigation.
Trump is not only abusing his authority by taking the security clearances from his critics. He’s also helping to strengthen Mueller’s case for obstruction of justice.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 17, 2018