In an exclusive interview with the Washington Free Beacon, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R – Fla.) has called on the Trump administration to eliminate all former Obama administration officials from their roles in the government.
DeSantis, who is the chairman of the House National Security Subcommittee and a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is also demanding that Attorney General Jeff Sessions start a full investigation into former FBI Director James Comey for leaking potentially classified memos to the press.
During a hearing in June before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey admitted that he had passed on a memo with details of his visit with President Trump to a friend of his, who is a professor at Columbia Law School, so the friend could leak the memo to a reporter.
DeSantis said Comey’s admission that he passed on private information to the public with the intent to damage the Trump administration warrants a full investigation by the Department of Justice, adding that Comey’s claim that he “leaked in order to trigger a special counsel” is pretty extraordinary.
“Congress needs to press Sessions and other people to make sure they are investigating this because the American people need the truth,” DeSantis reportedly said in the interview with Free Beacon. “If he did violate any laws, he needs to be held accountable. If you’re violating laws in service of doing political warfare, that is just absolutely unacceptable, particularly for someone who held such a high position in the government.”
“Not only is he leaking this stuff, not only were the memos done in the course of his employment and likely government property, he may have disclosed classified information in this quest to basically wage a vendetta against the president because the president fired him and to try and create a special counsel,” DeSantis stated.
“This guy is really a creature of the swamp. He maneuvers around D.C. in ways that are very similar to how D.C. insiders operate. He’s one of the best in those regards.”
Regarding the Obama holdovers who are still working within the government, DeSantis said Trump should get rid of them.
“Any Obama holdover at any of these agencies, you’ve got to get them out of there because clearly they’re not on the same team and particularly on the White House National Security Council,” DeSantis said.
Top officials in Congress have been concerned for some time about leaks occurring from Obama administration holdovers, fearful that they may jeopardize national security interests.
DeSantis also noted that former National Security Council official Ben Rhodes has been identified, along with other senior Obama administration officials, as being “involved with feeding journalists” leaked information.
“I believe he’s in touch with people on the National Security Council. It would be absolutely legitimate as part of leak investigation to bring him in and put him under oath, and I would absolutely support doing that,” DeSantis said.
“I think Congress and some members on the Intelligence Committee can call Ben Rhodes to testify. He may be able to invoke executive privilege from when Obama was president, but he definitely can’t do that in any interactions he’s had since then.”
In January it was revealed that Rhodes, who had been granted full security clearance before Obama’s 2008 inauguration, was actually denied a security clearance by the FBI earlier in 2008 – a fact confirmed in John Podesta’s hacked emails.
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