The new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives have not let the public down with their promise of holding on the Trump White House accountable. In their latest move to get to the bottom of one of many issues, Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is doubling down and zeroing-in on numerous officials from Trump’s cabinet, in an effort to look into their sketchy security clearances.
Earlier today he released a scathing memo that details how the White House has attempted to buy time by way of stonewalling efforts that are meant to disobey the House oversight on Capitol Hill.
Here is the opening of Cumming’s Monday memo:
‘Dear Mr. Cipollone:
On March 1, 2019, I wrote to you in order to request—for a “final time”—that the White House cooperate voluntarily with the Committee’s investigation of security clearance processes at the White House in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration. ‘
The memo was also fueled by reports made by a White House whistleblower by the name of Tricia Newbold. Newbold made allegations that herself, along with other career staffers, denied applications for numerous security clearances. Newbold had worked in the Executive Office of the President for 18 years and is certainly a career professional.
Cummings Monday memo, continued, in part:
‘Congress enjoys “broad authority to investigate, to inform the public, and, ultimately, to legislate against suspected corruption and abuse of power in the Executive Branch.” This authority encompasses Congress’ inquiries into the administration of Executive Branch departments—including discretionary Executive actions.
For example, Congress has investigated the misuse of the White House Office of Political Affairs; the White House’s disclosure of covert CIA Agent Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity; allegations that senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitated arms sales to Iran in contravention of an arms embargo and used the proceeds to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua; and the events surrounding the June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Campaign headquarters at the Watergate Hotel.’
(You can view all eight pages of the memo, here.)
The decisions made by Newbold and others were eventually overturned by senior officials, a move that guaranteed that these rejected individuals would be allowed to access to classified material.
Of the 25 people on the list, of specific interest are Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump’s daughter.
CNBC said this on the matter:
‘According to Cummings, the whistleblower said during the March interview that the list of approximately 25 individuals whose denials were overruled “had a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct.”’
While the names of all 25 individuals on the list are not known at this time, in an effort to tackle ongoing issues surrounding White House-approved security clearances, Cummings has organized nine current and former officials. They are John Bolton, Michael Flynn, Rob Porter, Sebastian Gorka, K.T. McFarland, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, John McEntee, and Robin Townley.
Featured image via YouTube screenshot.