President Trump wants to “quickly” revoke the security clearance of Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official whose wife worked for the firm which helped produce the now notorious Steele dossier outlining Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
The president labeled Ohr a “disgrace” on Friday, and said he suspects he will be “taking away [the security clearance] very quickly,” the Associated Press reported. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, was employed by Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm founded by Christopher Steele, which produced the lurid dossier claiming Trump has been in the pocket of the Kremlin for more than five years. Ohr also has contacts with Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS’ co-founder.
Trump’s threat to remove Ohr’s security clearance comes as the White House revokes or seeks to revoke the clearances of other former officials he claims are biased in the Russia investigation or those who have been critical of him on the matter.
Bruce Ohr of the “Justice” Department (can you believe he is still there) is accused of helping disgraced Christopher Steele “find dirt on Trump.” Ohr’s wife, Nelly, was in on the act big time – worked for Fusion GPS on Fake Dossier. @foxandfriends
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2018
On Wednesday, former CIA Director John Brennan lost his security clearance after criticizing Trump publicly on multiple occasions. Brennan claimed in an op-ed that the move was meant to silence him from speaking out against the President. The White House insisted it was revoking Brennan’s clearance for national security purposes.
The White House also said it was considering revoking security clearances for a list of other officials who previously served under the Obama administration and who have been critical of Trump in the past. The list, which some compared to President Nixon’s “enemies list,” included figures such as former National Security Agency and CIA Director Michael V. Hayden; former national security adviser Susan Rice; and former national intelligence director James R. Clapper Jr.
In his op-ed Thursday, Brennan admonished Trump, saying that revoking the clearances was a clear attempt at stalling Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into foreign interference in the 2016 election, and to silence anyone who thought Trump had colluded with Russia.
“[Trump] made the politically motivated decision to revoke my security clearance in an attempt to scare into silence others who might dare to challenge him,” Brennan wrote in the New York Times on Thursday. “Now more than ever, it is critically important that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his team of investigators be allowed to complete their work without interference.”
The White House’s decision to act against those disloyal to Trump drew fury from several retired national security officials this week, including William H. McRaven, who oversaw the 2011 SEAL raid which killed Osama Bin Laden. In a Washington Post op-ed on Thursday, McRaven accused Trump of “McCarthy-era tactics”.
“Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children,” McRaven wrote. “[You have] humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.”