As a courtesy, former presidents are typically assured continued access to the country’s secrets when they request it. But Donald Trump’s personal debt ($400 million) and his proclivity to share secrets with foreign adversaries make him a security risk. As a private citizen, he could never qualify for the security clearance that was conferred upon him as president.
The decision to pull the plug falls to the new president—and Joe Biden shouldn’t hesitate to cut him off in a New York minute. The guy is a charlatan and a con man, and he’ll monetize every morsel of information he can get his hands on, national security be damned.
Under the statutes governing national security, the former president would have no legal course to challenge the decision of Joe Biden or any future president should they decide to withhold intelligence, says Dakota Rudesill, associate professor at Ohio State University’s College of Law. “The powers of the president depart completely from former presidents when they leave office,” Rudesill says. “Access to classified information is a privilege, not a right.”