House Democrats just announced a major investigation into the Trump family’s security clearances which will expose the president’s son-in-law and daughter to public scrutiny.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) Chairman of the House Oversight Committee announced an “in-depth investigation” today, which kicked off with a demand letter to the White House for information about Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka, both of whom are White House advisors. His committee has a virtually unlimited power to subpoena the Trump White House.
Chairman Cummings is going to zero in on Trump’s family and one other high-ranking Trump officials, forcing all of them to sit for questioning within the next twenty days. According to The Hill, the requests focus upon:
“…officials like national security adviser John Bolton and Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser who’s also President Trump’s son-in-law.
Cummings requested that officials from the White House Personnel Security Office who handle security clearance adjudications make themselves available for sit-down, transcribed interviews with his committee starting Feb. 11.”
The Maryland Democrat sent his letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, noting that he believes that the White House covered up its contacts with Russia during the transition.
Cummings also says that Trump is violating a federal law requiring his executive office to give a report to Congress detailing how security clearance decisions are reached after the FBI submits its findings. He wrote:
“The goals of this investigation are to determine why the White House and Transition Team appear to have disregarded established procedures for safeguarding classified information to evaluate the extent to which the nation’s most highly guarded secrets were provided to officials who should not have had access to them…
The Committee on Oversight and Reform is launching an in-depth investigation of the security clearance process at the White House and Transition Team in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration, including by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and others.”
Rep. Cummings worked for two years as the Oversight Ranking Member in order to assemble today’s letter. Its seven-pages reference six prior requests for information which he formulated and sent to the White House dating back to November 2016, as well as two responses from former Trump officials.
In fact, all the way back in November 2016 Cummings personally warned Vice President Mike Pence that Gen. Flynn, the now-convicted former Trump National Security Advisor, would probably not pass security clearance after being an unregistered foreign agent of Turkey.
But the Trump Transition team ignored the Democrat’s advice and Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, in part to cover up for his secret Turkish lobbying efforts, which resulted in two indictments and one arrest late last year right before his own botched sentencing hearing.
Democrats spent years cursing Republican misuse of the Oversight Committee’s vast powers, now, they’ll finally get to see untouchables like Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have to expose their secrets to the panel.
Today’s announcement by Chairman Cummings amounts to a sea change in relations between the White House and Congress now that spineless Republicans like Trey Gowdy have left office and Trump’s toadies like Devin Nunes have lost their chairs meaning that the American people will once again see laws enforced against the President.
Here is Rep. Elijah Cummings’ letter to the White House: