President Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan last week after ordering a review of nine people — one current and eight former officials — who he considers political adversaries.
One name not on the publicly announced list: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic candidate whose campaign was plagued by an FBI investigation into her mishandling of classified information.
From Washington Examiner:
Many former officials retain security clearances, but the status of Clinton’s clearance is not publicly known, despite being subject to intense debate, including bicameral legislation seeking to revoke her access.
The State Department told the Washington Examiner that it could not release information about Clinton’s clearance, citing her privacy, and Clinton’s attorneys would not comment.
“Due to privacy considerations, the department does not release information on former employees,” said Anne Carey, a spokesman for the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton scoffed at the response, saying “there is no privacy interest.
“Of course, the public has a right to know whether Hillary Clinton has a national security clearance. Why is the State Department protecting her still?” Fitton said.
Fitton said his staff filed a Freedom of Information Act request this week for the information. The conservative transparency group often sues when FOIA requests are denied.
Executive branch departments such as the State Department hold their own records of people, including former officials, who have a clearance and make decisions on whether to revoke access. The Obama White House said it would not be involved in the matter after then-FBI Director James Comey said administrative sanctions were possible over Clinton’s handling of records with a private email server, which he described as “extremely careless.”
Ned Price, a former White House staffer who worked at the National Security Council during Obama’s final years in office, said he doesn’t know if Clinton retains a clearance. Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, said “I suppose that it’s possible, but not at all certain” that Clinton has a clearance.
Two attorneys who have represented Clinton did not respond to requests for comment, including David Kendall, who represented her during the FBI’s investigation of her private email server. Kendall told the Washington Examiner in June that he still represented Clinton.
Concern about Clinton’s access to information predates Trump’s presidency. In July 2016, 16 senators led by Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and 13 members of the House of Representatives led by Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, introduced legislation that would revoke her security clearance.