Calls Grow For Biden To Cut Off Trump’s Intel Briefings When POTUS’ Term Ends

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 30: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) looks on during a press conference on Capitol Hill on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. House Democrats attended a briefing at the White House this morning following a... WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 30: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) looks on during a press conference on Capitol Hill on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. House Democrats attended a briefing at the White House this morning following allegations that Russia paid bounties to Taliban militants to kill U.S. and allied troops. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 17, 2021 1:57 p.m.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME) — who sit on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, respectively — on Sunday urged President-elect Joe Biden to prohibit outgoing President Trump from receiving intelligence briefings upon becoming a private citizen. Schiff and King’s calls for Biden come less than a week after the House voted to impeach Trump for the second time for “incitement of insurrection.”

On Friday, former Trump principal deputy director of national intelligence Sue Gordon responded to Trump’s incitement of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol earlier this month in an op-ed published in The Washington Post. Gordon wrote that Trump “might be unusually vulnerable to bad actors with ill intent” upon departing the White House.

“He leaves, unlike his predecessors who embraced the muted responsibilities of being a ‘former,’ with a stated agenda to stay engaged in politics and policy,” Gordon wrote. “No departing president in the modern era has hinted at or planned on becoming a political actor immediately after leaving office.”

Schiff, who served as the House’s impeachment manager when Trump was impeached last year, said he agreed with Gordon’s assessment during an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“There’s no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing, not now, not in the future,” Schiff said. “I don’t think he can be trusted with it now, and in the future he certainly can’t be trusted.”

King also told CNN on Sunday that he agrees with Gordon as he argued that “there’s a grave danger” of Trump “inadvertently or willfully revealing classified information that would compromise sources and methods.”

“There is no upside, there is no reason that he needs to have this information,” King said. “It’s a courtesy that’s been passed on from president to president, but there is no legal requirement. And I think given his past history of being fast and loose with intelligence data, it ought to be — that ought to be an easy decision for the incoming President.”

Although he didn’t provide a clear answer as to whether Biden will follow through with calls to cut off Trump from intelligence briefings when his presidency ends, incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain didn’t rule out the possibility during an interview on CNN on Sunday.

“We’ll certainly look for a recommendation from the intelligence professionals in the Biden-Harris administration once they’re in place and act on that recommendation,” Klain said. “So obviously, we don’t have those intelligence professionals in place yet. (I) hope the Senate moves to confirm them quickly and then we’ll look what they recommend in terms of intelligence sharing going forward.”

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