For a man who claims that there is no obstruction or “collusion” and that he has done nothing wrong, Donald Trump sounds and acts guiltier by the day. On Wednesday he revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan outside of the normal clearance review and adjudication process. In a 255 word statement read by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders that was signed by Trump but most likely never read, listed other public officials who have criticized the Trump administration in various ways and who she says are also under consideration for having their security clearances revoked. These included former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. All of these people have in one way or another been involved in the investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election process and the Trump campaign’s involvement. One of the reasons cited by Trump was the Russian Dossier which Brennan first revealed to Trump during the transition.
On Thursday, in direct contradiction of the Wednesday statement, Trump publicly admitted to the Wall Street Journal that this is being done for political retaliation which is the admission of a felony, obstruction of justice.
“President Trump drew a direct connection between the special counsel investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and his decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and review the clearances of several other former officials,” the WSJ (Sub required) opens.
“Trump cited Brennan as among those he held responsible for the investigation,” and was “one of those who presented evidence to Mr. Trump shortly before his inauguration that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election.” [..]
On Wednesday, Trump publicly confessed that he fired McCabe, Comey, et al to stop an investigation into his possible conspiracy against the United States, with a hostile foreign power:
The Rigged Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on as the “originators and founders” of this scam continue to be fired and demoted for their corrupt and illegal activity. All credibility is gone from this terrible Hoax, and much more will be lost as it proceeds. No Collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2018
Former Senator Al Frankin (D-MN) has broken his silence on Trump with this facebook post:
Besides admitting to obstruction, Trump also violated his oath of office. In a statement by Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, noted:
“The First Amendment does not permit the president to revoke security clearances to punish his critics. John Brennan’s record is full of grave missteps, and we have been unsparing in our criticism of his defense of the CIA torture program and his role in unlawful lethal strikes abroad. But Trump’s revocation of Brennan’s clearance, and his threats to revoke the clearances of other former officials for the sole reason that they have criticized his conduct and policies, amount to unconstitutional retaliation. They are also part of a broader pattern of seeking to silence or marginalize critics, which includes forcing staff to sign unconstitutional non-disclosure agreements.”
Trump is not just going after his critics, he is going after witnesses. Thursday night MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explains how the people Donald Trump is threatening with having their security clearance revoked are those who would need that clearance to testify for the investigation.
It is a federal crime to Retaliating against a witness. Folks, we are drowning in obstruction and collusion.