Government watchdog denies review of Ivanka's security clearance — unless Trump approves
Once again, Trump stands in the way of an investigation into the questionable practices of his White House.
The agency tasked with oversight of the federal government says Trump has not allowed them to investigate the decision to violate protocol and grant security clearances to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
CNN reported Thursday that Michael Atkinson, inspector general of the intelligence community (ICIG), sent a letter to several Democratic senators telling them that a review of the decision can only be ordered by Trump. And he hasn’t authorized that review.
“As a legal matter, the ICIG also lacks authority to unilaterally review compliance by the (Executive Office of the President) with policies and procedures governing security clearances,” Atkinson wrote.
Trump overruled concerns raised by the White House Presidential Personnel Office after the FBI’s background check to grant top-secret security clearance to his daughter. He also ignored similar concerns raised by the FBI about Kushner. Trump initially claimed that he did not give preferential treatment to his family.
The issue has become the subject of an official congressional investigation. A whistleblower revealed in April that at least 25 individuals with “serious disqualifying issues” were nonetheless granted security clearances by the Trump White House.
In response to Atkinson’s letter, a group of four Democratic senators — Mark Warner (VA), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Bob Menendez (NJ), and Jack Reed (RI) — sent a letter of their own to Trump asking him to authorize the investigation.
“We believe a new review is necessary to address the allegations that have been raised and, if necessary, implement corrective action. Without such a review, it will be incumbent upon Congress to take a more direct role in overseeing and legislating on EOP security clearances to protect national security,” they wrote.
The general counsel for the U.S. intelligence community noted in a separate letter that a similar review of such procedures was last conducted in 2015, at the request of the Obama White House, CNN reported.
Given the Trump administration’s stonewalling of all congressional investigations since Democrats took control of the House earlier this year, it is unlikely that Trump will cooperate to allow the investigation of his own family’s security clearances to proceed.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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