Brennan considers taking legal action after Trump revokes security clearance
WASHINGTON (SBG) - The former director of the CIA is considering taking President Donald Trump to court. John Brennan indicated he might begin a legal case after the president revoked his security clearance. Brennan says he wants to prevent other former intelligence officials from also losing that coveted access.
“I recognize I have a bullseye on my chest now,” explained Brennan while appearing on NBC’s "Meet the Press" on Sunday. “But again, I believe very strongly and I love this country and I don't want to see it go down because of somebody like Mr. Trump."
"President Trump dared him to, in a tweet Monday. “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 of 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!”
It is hard to tell what would happen in a suit but Alan Dershowitz, attorney and author of “The Case Against Impeaching Trump,” is doubtful Brennan could triumph in court.
“I don’t think Brennan would succeed in a lawsuit because he himself has said things that do imply to members of the public that he may be using information that he learned through a security clearance to make political points,” Dershowitz said.
However, Dershowitz supported Hillary Clinton, not Trump in the 2016 election and added it would be wiser if the president didn’t have or choose to use the power of revocation.
“If there were a non-partisan commission that decided to revoke, uniquely, Brennan’s security clearance, I don’t think there’d be a question, but because the president did it as part of a threat to remove the security clearances of others who are critical of him, it raises the questions if this is being selectively done to punish critics of the president,” Dershowitz said.
More than 175 career and former members of the intelligence community have signed a letter against the president’s actions.
Some now wonder how this very public and continuous dispute is affecting the intelligence agencies.
“Look, if we're back on our old agencies, all right? We're trying to say to our workforce, we have nothing to do with what John Brennan says on TV and we have nothing to do with what the president has done in response. We've got our basic claim, we've got to do blocking and tackling. But that has to be harder and harder each day as the administration takes these kinds of actions,” said Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency.
Others argue another possible gray area is when a former intelligence official speaks out, should their comments carry more weight because of their real-life experience or be questioned because they’re being paid by a news organization?
“I think that’s a decision we all have to make. If you simply say that they’re getting compensated for doing a job and their opinions are based on their experience, that’s one thing. If you’re saying they’re a paid hit person for an opposition party, that’s entirely different,” said Gene Policinski, president of the Freedom Forum Institute at the Newseum.
“It does make it much harder I think, than in the days when journalists were journalists, pundits were pundits and politicians stayed over there on that side of the house,” Policinski said.
President Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance on Wednesday and indicated at least nine other officials are also on the short list to lose their clearance.