Using a statement issued by a whos-who of former national security officials harshly criticizing Donald Trump for pulling former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance in a fit of pique, a conservative columnist for the Washington Post called on Republicans to step up and do the same -- and more.
As Jennifer Rubin writes in her commentary piece, "A group of esteemed former intelligence officials on Thursday released a statement to respond to 'the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House regarding the removal of John Brennan’s security clearances.' They praised Brennan’s service as a former head of the CIA and declared that 'allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Brennan while in office are baseless.'"
Agreeing with the sentiment of the statement, signed by former CIA directors Robert Gates, William H. Webster, George J. Tenet, Porter J. Goss, retired Gen. Michael V. Hayden, retired Gen. David H. Petraeus and Leon Panetta, Rubin said it was a start, but more needs to be done to rein Trump in out of fears he is harming national security.
"Now it’s time for Republicans to stop cheerleading (or cowering) in the face of President Trump’s conduct," Rubin asserted. "The appropriate response is to conduct oversight hearings, censure the president (who already admitted pulling Brennan’s security clearance because he blames Brennan and others for the Russia investigation) and, if need be, pass legislation spelling out the grounds for revoking security clearances and a clear procedure for challenging them."
According to Rubin, a longtime conservative who has become one of Trump's harshest critics, Trump's conduct towards Brennan may be a criminal matter that requires an FBI investigation.
"Some lawmakers might also choose to refer this particular issue to the FBI because Trump admits that he acted in retaliation for former officials’ investigation into an attack on American democracy. (Recall that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is conducting both a criminal investigation and a national security inquiry)," she wrote.
She then blasted those "cheerleading" Republicans.
"We live in a world in which Republicans refuse to put country and Constitution over partisan loyalty to an unfit president," she summed up. "An impeachment effort conducted solely by one party will fail. The remedy, therefore, is to replace as many Republicans as possible in November and then vote Trump out in 2020."
"In the meantime, a Democratic-led House can conduct a whole slew of inquiries, subpoena his tax returns (or pass legislation requiring their release) and disallow his receipt of foreign emoluments. The bleeding must stop before we can fully restore our democracy," she concluded.
You can read the whole scathing piece here.