The House Democrats knew that it would be difficult to get the Donald Trump administration to cooperate with their seven various hearings into Trump’s family, friends, business associates, and presidential campaign. Yet, the House Oversight committee chair Representative Elijah Cummings (R-MD) intends to get to the bottom of one especially critical issue.
Cummings sent the White House a letter requesting that the White House provide his committee with documents on the administration’s security clearance process. The Trump attorney claimed this was not under the Houses scope:
‘The White House rejects Democrats’ demands for documents about the security clearance process “arguing that the committee is not pursuing this under legal grounds,” reports @mkraju. ‘
The White House rejects Democrats’ demands for documents about the security clearance process “arguing that the committee is not pursuing this under legal grounds,” reports @mkraju. https://t.co/RpZbw6ZuMC pic.twitter.com/kyxUsUM2rm
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) March 5, 2019
Cummings was particularly interested in how the president interfered in son-in-law Jared Kushner’s security clearance. The FBI did a traditional background check on Kushner, and came back with a flat “no” response. At the time, Trump had granted over 30 people in the White House temporary security clearances, including this one.
The department that handles security clearances agreed with the FBI, so Trump brought in his person to oversee the process. In other words, the president forced them to give Ivanka’s husband his clearance.
Then, Trump wanted to give Kushner the highest security clearance with access to compartmentalized, ultra-secret information. At the time, Mike Pompeo was director of the CIA, which oversaw that higher security clearance, and he refused.
There is a form that all people seeking security clearances must fill out. They must indicate every trip abroad, every interaction with a foreign entity, everywhere they lived, and substantial additional detail. Kushner had to amend his form over 100 times. One amendment can be enough to disqualify a person from receiving his or her clearance.
As it stands, Pompeo made an excellent choice, because Kushner and the president very recently tried to circumvent the federal process in an attempt to sell the Saudi government nuclear technology. That would have allowed the Saudi prince, Mohammed bin Salman the ability to build nuclear bombs. The prince was responsible for the torture, strangulation, and dismemberment of The Washington Post correspondent Jamal Kashoggi.
‘These actions suggest that the Committee is not interested in proper oversight, but rather seeks information that it knows cannot be provided consistent with applicable law. We will not concede the Executive’s constitutional prerogatives or allow the Committee to jeopardize the individual privacy rights of current and former Executive Branch employees.’
Cummings said that the White House administration has been slow-walking its response to the committee chair.
Naturally, the man currently sitting in the Oval Office, at least some of the time, denied that he intervened. He said that he:
‘…never thought it was necessary.’
The House Oversight committee chair has requested this information before. Last week, the representative said that he was only going to give Trump one more opportunity to send the documents over to the committee. He said that this administration committed:
‘…repeated, significant, and ongoing abuses of the security clearance system.’
Cummings next step will be to subpoena the White House.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.