Ex-White House official to appear before House on security clearance matter

Donald Trump. File photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

April 12 (UPI) — A former White House official will appear before a House oversight committee on April 23, as part of a House probe of the Trump administration’s security clearance process, his lawyer said.

Former White House Personnel Security Director Carl Kline will appear for the deposition, his lawyer, Robert Driscoll, said in a letter to the committee Wednesday, The Hill reported.

Earlier this month, the committee voted to subpoena Kline after more than two months of requests to the White House for documentation on the clearance process.

Driscoll previously agreed Kline would voluntarily testify before the committee voted to subpoena him on the eve of the committee’s April 2 vote, but committee chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said such an agreement would have included testimony limitations he did not want.

Driscoll’s letter Thursday tried to convince the committee to reach out to the White House ahead of Kline’s appearance before the panel, the Washington Post reported.

Driscoll said he was “anticipating conflicts” because the White House Counsel Office would have to determine whether he could testify about topics that may be covered by executive privilege.

“I regret the circumstances that have resulted in the committee on Oversight and Reform electing to subpoena Carl Kline, despite our legitimate offer to have him appear voluntarily,” Driscoll wrote in the letter. “We will be there for the deposition scheduled on April 23rd either way as directed.”

One day before the committee’s vote to subpoena Kline, Cummings revealed that whistle-blower Tricia Newbold, who Kline supervised, said that she and other officials adjudicated the denials of dozens of security clearance applications that were later overturned.

Security clearance applications for White House officials “were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security,” Newbold said in a March letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

Newbold told the committee in late March that Kline granted multiple security clearances despite recommendations to deny their applications. One of those clearances was for President Donald Trump‘s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the Post reported.

At least 25 security clearances were approved since 2018, despite red flags about foreign contacts, conflicts of interest, past criminality, drug use or other misconduct, Newbold said.



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