I’ve had a confidential clearance, a Secret Clearance and, a Top Secret clearance.
What people don’t know is when you get a clearance you get what is known as “Read in”
The grantor has the recipient sign a non disclosure agreement which says if you divulge any information gained by your clearance you can receive 20 years in prison and, a $5,000 fine.
Then while you have a clearance you have what is called “ A Need To Know” .
In other words if you don’t have a need to know it’s just like having no clearance at all.
I still have a Top Secret Clearance but, I have been read out and, signed a non disclosure agreement.
While my Top Secret Clearance was active, I was guided by my need to know!
So the clearances are guided by the granting authority.
The only reason why Branan or, Clapper would need a clearance is one, if he was using his clearance to gain a back door to gain information.
Research for a book deal is another reason but, this is placing their pocket book ahead of the good of their country.
Also, to be able to sell him or, herself to a commercial company.
All of which are against the law. The giving of information is guided by the authorities that granted the clearance.