Earlier this week, the Washington Post found the nerve to breathlessly lionize Tricia Newbold, an unelected bureaucrat bent on blocking the president’s access to trusted advisers. The Post announced that the “whistleblower told lawmakers that more than two dozen denials for security clearances have been overturned during the Trump administration.”
These reversals include “the President’s daughter, her husband Jared Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton.” The story, like so many others, was dripping with innuendo against the president’s advisers but short on any actual misconduct that would justify denying security clearances.
Security Clearances for Partisan Hacks?
Who decides what’s in the national security interests of the United States? Is it former CIA director John Brennan, who actively promoted the hoax that the elected president is a Russian agent? President Trump revoked Brennan’s security clearance in August 15, 2018. But Brennan still held a clearance while MSNBC paid him to say this:
I think he is afraid of the president of Russia….the Russians may have something on him personally that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult… this fawning attitude toward Mr. Putin, has not said anything negative about him, I think continues to say to me that he does have something to fear and something very serious to fear.
Until August 2018, Hillary Clinton maintained a security clearance. Under that clearance, she maintained a small stable of researchers who included Cheryl Mills, her former chief of staff, and four unnamed others. The Department of Justice gave Mills an “immunity” agreement during its investigation of Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said of this agreement:
I had myself found that Cheryl Mills had committed perjury and lied under oath in a published opinion I had issued in a Judicial Watch case where I found her unworthy of belief, and I was quite shocked to find out she had been given immunity in — by the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case.
Lamberth added, “So I did not know that until I read the IG report and learned that and that she had accompanied the Secretary to her interview.” Worse yet, the “immunity agreement,” essentially operated as a pardon because it doesn’t appear the government got anything out of the very generous grant of clemency to Mills. Just to review: Mills continued to maintain a security clearance despite lying under oath about the circumstances of an alleged mishandling of classified information.
Andrew McCabe, the deputy FBI director found to have repeatedly lied to federal investigators, kept his security clearance until the day he was fired (March 2018) in spite of a damning February 2018 inspector general report that documented repeated instances of McCabe lying to investigators—often under oath. Many of those instances were known in the FBI months before the IG report was issued.
We could go on and on with a list of former of even current employees maintaining security clearances long after demonstrating themselves to be enemies of the policies of a president the American people elected to carry out those policies. Newbold appears to have used her special access to the security clearance process to leak to NBC News that her office had rejected the Kushner clearance.
What’s the Purpose of Security Clearances?
The purpose of maintaining a security clearance is to provide access to classified material by an employee or former employee who “requires access to a particular level of classified information in order to perform or assist in a lawful and authorized governmental function.”
There is a long list of extremely questionable security clearances being maintained long after the Trump opponents holding them stopped pretending to serve the current administration in any constructive way. Newbold’s whistle remained conspicuously un-blown when, for example, it came to light that Bruce Ohr’s wife took money from a Clinton subcontractor while Ohr abused his authority and prominence to promote his wife’s research to spur a bogus criminal investigation of a political candidate.
Do you notice a pattern? The security clearances only “jeopardize” national security when a Trump adviser has some cooked-up blemish in his or her record. But let the sirens scream impotently if the security clearance is maintained by a Trump hater.
The Washington Post went on to report: “Multiple newspapers, including The Washington Post, reported that Trump early last year directed his then-chief of staff, John F. Kelly, to give Kushner a top-secret security clearance—a move that made Kelly so uncomfortable that he documented the request in writing, according to current and former administration officials.”
In theory, the security clearance process should be a confidential one in which the elected head of the executive branch has the right to overrule the politically based objections of the career bureaucrats still chafing from the 2016 election results. President Trump is accountable to the voters, and they will have the opportunity to grade his decisions regarding national security.
Newbold is an unelected bureaucrat who is attempting to interfere with the president’s ability to access trusted advisers. She’s free to pass on her concerns and objections to the president, but she is not free to overrule him.
What is the supposed basis of Newbold’s security concerns? That part she kept secret, but nevertheless dropped some vague innuendo, telling us that she is, “keeping a list of employees whose applications were denied but were later given clearances despite concerns about their ties to foreign influence, conflicts of interests, questionable or criminal conduct, financial problems or drug abuse.”
Wow, “ties to foreign influence?” “Questionable criminal conduct?” Here we go again, more “if true….!!!” innuendo by the Deep State smear patrol. If Newbold has actual evidence of misconduct by these advisers, she can blow the whistle on that. Otherwise, she’s not a whistleblower, she’s an insubordinate to the American people she’s supposed to serve.