Based on what FBI Director James Comey told America on Tuesday, a group of GOP senators led by Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged the State Department Thursday to suspend the security clearances of Hillary Clinton and her top aides, another group of Republicans led by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in the upper house introduced a bill that would strip Hillary’s access altogether, which would mean she wouldn’t be allowed to receive the top secret briefings that presidential candidates usually get once they claim the nomination.
The letter initiated by Rubio and sent to Secretary of State John “why the long face?” Kerry, the senators expressed their severe concerns with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) findings this week regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff’s “extremely careless” handling of sensitive, highly classified information.
We believe that is clear from Director Comey’s statement and the FBI investigation that the State Department should immediately suspend the clearances of Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and other former State Department employees for security violations if they still maintain them. There is simply no excuse for Hillary Clinton’s decision to set up a home-cooked email system which left sensitive and classified national security information vulnerable to theft and exploitation by America’s enemies. Her actions were grossly negligent, damaged national security and put lives at risk. Failure to impose any sanctions for these clear violations of State Department procedure undermines the integrity of the State Department’s system for handling classified information and sends the wrong message to the Department’s employees.
Along with Rubio, signers of the letter included Senators: David Perdue (R-GA) , John Barrasso (R-WY) , Cory Gardner (R-CO) , John Cornyn (R-TX) , John Hardy Isakson (R-GA) , James Risch (R-ID) , Ron Johnson (R-WI) , James Lankford (R-OK) , and Tom Cotton (R-AR).
The bill introduced by Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) , and Corey Gardner (R-CO) , called Taking Responsibility Using Secured Technologies (TRUST) Act of 2016 or S.3135 (gee whiz, these senators take up too much time to find names for legislation).
The bill would revoke Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security clearance as well as the security clearances of Clinton’s State Department team who according to FBI Director Comey exhibited extreme carelessness in their handling of classified information. Additionally, the TRUST Act expresses the sense of Congress that Secretary Clinton should not have access to classified information again until (or if) she earns the legal right to such access. Should she be elected president (God forbid) she would have full access as the POTUS is the final arbiter of who gets clearance and it was assumed she would grant herself clearance.
The FBI’s investigation into Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail server confirmed what Americans across the country already know: Secretary Clinton recklessly accessed classified information on an insecure system – establishing a vulnerable and highly desirable target for foreign hackers,” said Gardner. “If the FBI won’t recommend action based on its findings, Congress will. At the very least, Secretary Clinton should not have access to classified information and our bill makes sure of it.
Access to classified information is a tremendous responsibility, and should only be entrusted to those who will treat that information with the care it deserves,” said Senator Cornyn. “When individuals mishandle our country’s most sensitive information they jeopardize national security and shouldn’t be trusted with such an important responsibility.
Based on director Comey’s speech both these efforts are justified for the safety of the country, but is doubtful the partisan Democrats in Congress would allow the bill to be passed, nor would Kerry grant the urgings of Rubio and the other senators who sent the letter.