Trump administration orders official who oversaw White House security clearance scandal to ignore House subpoena
The Trump administration has ordered a former White House official who was charged with overseeing its security clearance operation to ignore a House subpoena ordering him to appear for a deposition Tuesday.
Carl Kline, who now works for the Dept. of Defense, was told to not appear for the interview, thrusting him into potential personal liability. House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has said he will hold Kline in contempt should he disregard the subpoena, as CNN reports.
"Michael Purpura, deputy counsel to Trump, argued that Cummings' subpoena of Kline 'unconstitutionally encroaches on fundamental executive branch interests,' according to a letter obtained by CNN."
Kline's lawyer says his client will listen to his employer, and not appear.
"With two masters from two equal branches of government, we will follow the instructions of the one that employs him," attorney Robert Driscoll said in a letter CNN has obtained.
Early this month The Washington Post reported that dozens of security clearance applications that were denied by career civil service officials, had been overridden and approved by Kline and possibly others.
A whistleblower "alleged that 25 individuals were given clearances or access to national security information since 2018 despite concerns about ties to foreign influence, conflicts of interests, questionable or criminal conduct, financial problems, or drug abuse."
Among those denied security clearances who were later approved, apparently without cause, are Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump.