Disaster for GOP as Ryan’s Request to Deny Clinton Security Briefings is Rejected

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, you’ll remember, asked that Hillary Clinton be denied classified info. He got a big ole fat rejection letter from the Director of National Intelligence yesterday.

Ryan had claimed that “given the FBI’s findings denying Secretary Clinton access to classified information certainly constitutes appropriate sanctions.”

James R. Clapper dropped Ryan a letter Monday, telling him he “does not intend to withhold briefings from any officially nominated eligible candidate.” Including Hillary R. Clinton.

To Speaker Ryan:
 
This letter responds to your correspondence of July 6 regarding pre-election classified intelligence briefings to former Secretary of State Clinton. As initiated by President Truman in 1952, candidates for president and vice president have been offered intelligence briefings on developments abroad and significant national security matters that will face an incoming administration. The purpose of these briefings is to prepare for the orderly transition of our government, by ensuring a president-elect is aware of significant issues and national security matters.
 
These briefings traditionally have been offered to eligible candidates for president and vice president, as defined in the Presidential Transition Improvements Act of 2015 and its predecessors, after the nominating conventions. Nominees for president and vice president receive these classified briefings by virtue of their status as candidates, and do not require separate security clearances before the briefings. Briefings for the candidates will be provided on an even-handed, non-partisan basis. Candidates are advised of the classified nature of the material, and operation and policy matters are not addressed.
 
Accordingly, I do not intend to withhold briefings from any officially nominated, eligible candidate.
 
Sincerely,
 
James R. Clapper

Oh dear. Ryan had claimed “There is no legal requirement for you to provide Secretary Clinton with classified information,” but Clapper set him straight and reminded him of bipartisan legislation designed to provide for an orderly transition of government.

Clapper had to remind Ryan that these briefings are to ensure “an orderly transition of our government.” Apparently Ryan prefers a disorderly transition. No doubt his first choice would be to disqualify Clinton altogether, but eight years of effort may have ratcheted up negative opinions, but have failed to destroy her as a candidate, or wet dream of wet dreams, landed her in prison.

It would not be a surprise at this point to see the House try to rush through some specifically anti-Clinton legislation, banning anybody named Clinton from receiving intelligence briefings. They’ve done less petty things since Obama was elected. The fact is, Republicans are incapable of admitting to the legitimacy of any Democratic candidate. Let’s not kid ourselves that were Bernie Sanders the presumptive nominee that they would not be doing exactly the same thing.

Clapper’s rejection of Ryan’s blatant ploy to damage Hillary Clinton is just the latest in a long line of Republican failures to take Clinton out of the picture. It will not be the last.