President Trump has been criticized for politicizing the intelligence community by threatening to strip the security clearances of former top officials including John Brennan and James Clapper. But numerous past and present senior intelligence officials say the Obama administration started that politicization — and revoking the clearances of those who abuse the privilege for partisan purposes may help right the ship.

“As is often the case with the Trump administration, the rollout of the policy is bad, but the idea driving the policy is sound,” said one senior intelligence official who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke to RealClearInvestigations only on condition of anonymity. “Under some Obama-era intelligence chiefs, intelligence was used as a political weapon. We need to root that out, not reward it.”…

Some sources say former CIA director Brennan, ex-director of national intelligence Clapper and others with security clearances were emboldened to pursue political agendas through the anti-Trump media in a climate of impunity created by the Justice Department’s failure to prosecute leaks attending Donald Trump’s election. Notable among the leaks, they said, was a top unnamed official’s “unmasking” of Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn in a January 2017 Washington Post column by David Ignatius, sourced to classified intercepts of Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador. Leaking such classified information is a felony.