In a blow to the arrogant impunity of the Trump White House, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has scheduled a vote to hold an administration staffer in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena to testify in front of his committee.
The Oversight Committee had issued the subpoena to Carl Kline, a former security specialist who authorized the security clearance for Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, despite multiple warnings from long-time White House security professionals that conflict of interest issues discovered in his FBI background check would disqualify him from the highest clearance levels.
Chairman Cummings was forced to move towards the contempt citation after Kline publicly declared that he would follow White House orders and ignore the committee’s subpoena.
“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,” Cummings said. “Based on these actions, it appears that the president believes that the Constitution does not apply to his White House.”
The committee decided that they needed testimony from Kline after reports emerged that President Trump personally ordered Kushner to be given a security clearance despite the misgivings of the professionals involved in his vetting.
Congressman Cummings’ latest move sets up yet another legal battle between Congress and the executive branch as the Trump administration does everything in its power to stall the investigations finally started by the newly Democratic House of Representatives after two years of inaction by its Republican-controlled predecessor.
You can read the full statement by House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings in the tweet below from Politico congressional correspondent Kyle Cheney.
Committee GOP responds: "Chairman Cummings rushed to a subpoena in his insatiable quest to sully the White House. In doing so, he trampled over the normally deliberate and reasonable processes by which the Committee operates." pic.twitter.com/NAA7rUC0Uo
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) April 23, 2019
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Original reporting by Brad Reed At RawStory.