White House Grants Waiver for Brennan to Work on Flight 253 Review

Christina Bellantoni
December 31, 2009

Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan was granted an ethics waiver so he can be part of the review into the incidents leading up to the Flight 253 attempted terror attack.

The White House announced and posted the waiver in a blog post last night, just before Brennan delivers the preliminary review to the president.

Norm Eisen, special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, wrote in the blog that Brennan deserves a waiver to get around the Obama administration’s rules related to former employers because he “brings a unique mixture of know-how and understanding to this assignment.”

Eisen wrote in the waiver that the review “address services provided by [Brennan’s] former employer, The Analysis Corporation (TAC).”

Brennan would need to excuse himself from any portion of the review dealing with TAC, Eisen wrote.

“I have determined that it is appropriate to authorize your participation in these reviews. Of central importance to this conclusion is that you no longer have financial interests in TAC, and therefore the resolution of these reviews will not impact your financial interests,” Eisen wrote.

He said given Brennan’s experience, he has determined the “governmental interest in [his] participation outweighs any countervailing appearance concerns and authorize [his] participation in these reviews.”

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