From what little I've learned recently there is a procedure to revoke security clearance for anyone. That procedure involves establishing a justifiable rationale for the revocation. However, apparently the president is not bound to utilize that procedure. Supposedly he can revoke security clearance at will.
So, is the president currently empowered to revoke security clearance of seated members of congress at will?

1 Answer 1


Members of Congress do not receive a clearance, because they are considered "vetted" by virtue of being elected to their position. You can read this CIA article on the issue for more information, but here is the salient point:

All Members of Congress have access to intelligence by virtue of their elected positions. They do not receive security clearances per se.

This article from clearancejobs.com claims that members must take a secrecy oath per Congress' own internal rules, but that is not something the President can require or revoke:

House members, beginning with the 104th Congress, do have to take a secrecy oath. Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence – the committee with oversight over intelligence agencies including the CIA and NSA – have a separate oath, commensurate with their unique access to sensitive information. Again, these oaths take the way of a public pledge, vice the arduous security-clearance process, complete with SF86, undertaken by the average security-cleared professional.

The precedent seems to be that Congress as a body has a right to classified information for the purposes of performing their elected duties. Internally, Congress has rules governing how members gain access to that information, but those rules are unimpeachable to the other branches of government, as most Congressional rules are.

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