Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will be sworn in on January 20, and U.S. President Donald Trump will soon return to civilian status. But despite entering a post-Trump era, Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, opposed Biden sharing any classified briefings with Trump after he leaves office, stressing that Trump could not be trusted now or in the future. That was echoed by former deputy director of national intelligence Sue Gordon, who also argued that Trump should disengage from intelligence to minimize the risk to national security.
Mr Schiff was speaking on CBS when he said Mr Trump should no longer be briefed on intelligence under any circumstances. He said some intelligence partners had apparently begun suspending intelligence from the United States because of concerns that their resources and pipelines could not be secured. As for whether the Biden administration would follow recommendations to limit Trump’s access to classified information, Biden Chief of Staff Ron Klin said: “We will certainly seek the advice of our intelligence professionals, and we will actually act upon that recommendation once the Biden and Harris administrations are sworn in. It is clear that the intelligence professionals are not yet in place, and I hope that the Senate will quickly confirm them and then we will seek their professional advice on this matter.”
Mr. Gordon wrote in a Washington Post column last week that Mr. Trump should disengage from intelligence. “I recommend that no briefings be given to Mr Trump after the inauguration on January 20,” he said. “That is the unique right of a new president, and by this simple step, Mr Biden will reduce the risk to national security that Mr Trump’s return to civilian status would pose.” Mr Gordon also added that any former US president was a target of foreign intelligence but that Mr Trump could be unusually vulnerable to malicious actors, while he also noted that foreign companies had been involved in the Trump family business.
“Unlike previous presidents of the United States, Trump does not play the role of silent duty, and his resignation agenda clearly shows that he will continue to work in politics,” Gordon said. As of now, no former president has ever hinted or planned to become a political actor immediately after leaving office.”
The Trump Organization, which is run by two of Mr. Trump’s sons, was already reeling from the impact of the new outbreak even before the violent protests at the U.S. Capitol. Efforts to sell the Washington hotel have been shelved, and its offices are losing value because of a glut of space in Manhattan, as are the golf courses, and younger generations no longer aspire to the same life. But with soaring stock prices and tax cuts, Trump will still leave a fortune of about $500 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. It’s worth noting that Mr. Trump’s buildings are still more than $1 billion in debt.
Mr. Schiff responded to lawmakers on Capitol Hill’s police oversight committee by saying: “I’m sure they’re going to take the investigative process, but I’m more focused on the intelligence area. Do we have a real sense of the possibility of violence at the Capitol before we have violent protests, and whether information is being disseminated? We will also look at the structure of the Capitol Police and its leadership and what can be strengthened to prevent a similar situation from happening again.”
It is unclear whether at least 17 Republicans will join Democrats in an impeachment vote to bring the charges against Mr. Trump to a two-thirds majority. As recently as November, two sources told Axios that Trump had indicated to advisers that he was considering running for president again in 2024. According to the rules, a U.S. president can serve only two consecutive terms, but they do not have to be consecutive. This year, Mr. Trump won more than 70 million votes, a powerful display of his resilience. In 2024, he will be 78 years old, the age Biden reached last year.
And if he is successfully impeached and convicted, it would bar him from running for office again, though some legal scholars have suggested that it could be done outside the impeachment process. Representative Nancy Mays of South Carolina told NBC that it would be painful for many members of Congress because it would be complicated and difficult to try to bar Mr Trump from running again without a conviction. But she encouraged that it was possible, stressing the need to find a way to contain the president.