Trump administration orders official who oversaw White House security clearance scandal to ignore House subpoena

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.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.