Trump Directs Former Official To Break Law, House Oversight Responds

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Donald Trump filled his White House with people who would not be able to pass the nomination process. POTUS knew what he was doing, because he bumped the head of the White House personnel security director and pulled an employee from another department to replace him, Carl Kline. The new guy had apparently agreed to do the president’s bidding and pass people. It gets worse.

Trump’s son-in-law could not pass the White House security clearance questions. Instead, he edited his form time after time after time. That alone was enough to block his clearance, but there was more. Jared Kushner had personal business with Middle East countries that could have conflicted with his White House responsibilities. That is only one person and only two examples of how Kushner would fail.

The House Oversight Committee Chair Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) launched an investigation into the White House security clearance procedures. Cummings said he would talk to the committee and the House counsel to schedule a vote on former White House personnel security director Carl Kline’s contempt. Kline failed to appear to give his testimony before the committee.

The White House has decided to refuse to comply with investigations held by the Democratic-led committees. As a result of Trump’s directives, relations between Congress and the White House have deteriorated.

White House personnel security whistleblower Tricia Newbold testified that she believed the White House had been handing out security clearances like cotton candy. The government professionals, those not elected, had refused a number of security clearances, but the president’s people had overruled them.

Earlier this month Cummings signed a subpoena indicating that Kline was to appear before the Oversight committee along with a date. Cummings released a statement that read, according to The Washington Post:

‘The White House and Mr. Kline now stand in open defiance of a duly authorized congressional subpoena with no assertion of any privilege of any kind by President Trump. Based on these actions, it appears that the President believes that the Constitution does not apply to his White House, that he may order officials at will to violate their legal obligations, and that he may obstruct attempts by Congress to conduct oversight.’

When the Democrats won the House of Representatives, they also won the chairmanships of all committees, especially those that have been holding hearings. Beginning in January, the change of the guard took place.

Ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a statement to Cummings claiming he was not being fair. Jordan said that the chair was politicizing the issue when the chair “cherry-picked” statements that came out of the closed-door hearing with Newbold. Jordan insisted that Newbold was just an unhappy employee who did not understand the security clearance process, which was odd given that she had been with the department for 18 years:

‘Chairman Cummings’ investigation is not about restoring integrity to the security clearance process, it is an excuse to go fishing through the personal files of dedicated public servants.’

White House Deputy Counsel Michael Purpura wrote a letter to Kline, telling him to not go to the deposition. This even though it was required by the committee’s deposition:

‘(It) unconstitutionally encroaches on fundamental executive branch interests.’

Purpura sent Kline’s attorney a letter explaining that committee subpoena:

‘(U)nconstitutionally encroaches on fundamental executive branch interests.’

In a letter to Cummings, attorney to Kline, Robert Driscoll, told the committee that his client would comply with the White House:

‘With two masters from two equal branches of government, we will follow the instructions of the one that employs him.’

Newbold had worked for 18 years as a security clearance veteran under both Democratic and Republican presidents. The president’s man retaliated against her when she told her superior:

‘(Clearances) were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security.’

The way in which Trump had managed to get around the permanent security clearances was to give the people interim top-secret clearances. These were meant to be very temporary and discarded once their pending clearance was either granted or denied. In Kushner’s case, the president personally intervened on behalf of his son-in-law.