Heinrich Questions Top Intelligence Officials On White House Security Clearances, Election Security
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) questioned top intelligence officials during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence open hearing on Worldwide Threats. The committee received testimony from Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Robert Ashley, NSA Director Paul Nakasone, and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo.
During the hearing, Senator Heinrich expressed concern with recent reports that the White House granted Top Secret clearances to over 30 White House officials, overruling security experts who had initially denied the clearances based on red flags from FBI background checks. Heinrich also pressed Director Coats on why the Trump administration has not complied with a law passed last year requiring the White House to report on its process for conducting security clearance investigations for White House officials.
Senator Heinrich also raised the issue of why the Intelligence Community’s report assessing threats to the 2018 midterm elections had not been shared with all members of the Committee. During his questioning, Senator Heinrich emphasized the importance of staying informed about election interference, especially with the 2020 elections closing in.
Senator Heinrich has led bipartisan efforts to strengthen election cybersecurity in America and protect against foreign threats.
A list of witnesses and testimony, and the archived webcast of today’s hearing will be available here.