He don’t need no stinkin security clearance

Pro Publica reports that Trump’s lawyer for the Russia inquiries, Marc Kasowitz, doesn’t have a security clearance and doesn’t plan to get one. The trouble with that is that the investigation involves masses of classified material, which Kasowitz can’t see without a security clearance.

Several lawyers who have represented presidents and senior government officials said they could not imagine handling a case so suffused with sensitive material without a clearance.

“No question in my mind — in order to represent President Trump in this matter you would have to get a very high level of clearance because of the allegations involving Russia,” said Robert Bennett, who served as President Bill Clinton’s personal lawyer. Like many Washington lawyers, Bennett has held security clearances throughout his career.

As the spotlight on Russia intensifies with new email disclosures that his son, son-in-law, and then-campaign manager met in June 2016 with a Russian attorney who promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton, Kasowitz’s lack of a security clearance could hinder the president’s legal and political response to the scandal.

And why isn’t he seeking a clearance? Well, because he might have a hard time getting one. He’s had recent problems with alcohol. The people at the Security Clearance Store don’t like that.

Experts on federal security reviews told ProPublica that recent episodes of alcohol abuse are a major barrier to receiving clearance, a process that involves government agents poring over a person’s past and interviewing family, friends and colleagues. Investigators typically raise flags about behaviors that might make someone vulnerable to blackmail or suggest poor judgment.

Trump doesn’t always pick the best people for the job, does he.

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