White House Orders Former Security Official not to Comply With Subpeona

President Donald Trump talks on the phone aboard Air Force One during a flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address a joint gathering of House and Senate Republicans, Thursday, January 26, 2017. This was the President’s first trip aboard Air Force One. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald Trump talks on the phone aboard Air Force One during a flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address a joint gathering of House and Senate Republicans, Thursday, January 26, 2017. This was the President’s first Trip aboard Air Force One. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Earlier this month Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, signed a subpoena for former White House security director Carl Kline to show up for questioning regarding claims that the White House’s security clearance applications “were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security.”

A Subpoena

Former White House security director Kline was instructed by the White House to not show up for questioning by the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday. White House deputy counsel Michael M. Purpura wrote a letter to Kline asking him not to show up for questioning saying that the subpoena asking Kline to appear “unconstitutionally encroaches on fundamental executive branch interests.” [1]

Kline’s attorney Robert Driscoll later said that Kline would take the White House’s suggestion and not attend the committee questioning. “With two masters from two equal branches of government, we will follow the instructions of the one that employs him,” Driscoll wrote in a letter which was addressed to the committee’s chairman, Elijah Cummings.

The subpoena was sent out after longtime White House security employee, Tricia Newbold, testified that the White House was granted security clearance to people who were found unworthy of that type of authorization.

Multiple Complaints

Newbold had sent multiple complaints about the recklessness of the security admissions to her superiors without avail. She remarked that Congress was her “last hope” for addressing the improper security conduct at the White House. In the past two years, she has allegedly experienced the White House overturning her denials for security clearances.

Among the clearances that were denied by Newbold but granted by White House officials is that of the presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner reportedly has a permanent top-secret clearance that was given to him after President Trump demanded he be given one despite security concerns. [2]


Notes:

  1. ^Hamburger, Tom. “White House instructs official to ignore Democratic subpoena over security clearances.” Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/04/23/white-house-instructs-official-ignore-democratic-subpoena-over-security-clearances. (go back↩)
  2. ^Rozsa, Matthew. “Trump’s White House orders former security clearance official not to comply with Democratic subpoena.” Salon, 23 Apr. 2019, www.salon.com/2019/04/23/trumps-white-house-orders-former-security-clearance-official-not-to-comply-with-democratic-subpoena. (go back↩)

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