House panel to interview ex-White House security clearance chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic chairman of a congressional committee has put off holding a former White House security clearance chief in contempt until after the panel interviews him about decisions made on some of President Donald Trump's advisers.

Reuters April 29, 2019 00:06:37 IST
House panel to interview ex-White House security clearance chief

House panel to interview exWhite House security clearance chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic chairman of a congressional committee has put off holding a former White House security clearance chief in contempt until after the panel interviews him about decisions made on some of President Donald Trump's advisers.

The House Oversight and Government Reform committee voted last week to subpoena Carl Kline over whistleblower allegations that the Trump administration inappropriately reversed career officials’ decisions to deny some advisers security clearances. Congressional sources said the aides included Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said in a letter to Kline on Saturday that he would be allowed to have lawyers present for an interview with committee members on Wednesday. However, he said the scope of questioning will not be limited, as the White House and Kline's lawyer had requested, according to the letter released by the committee.

"You will be expected to answer all of the committee's questions, including questions about specific White House officials and allegations of retaliation against the whistleblower," Cummings said. "If you answer all of these questions, there would be no need for the committee to pursue contempt against you in the future."

Tricia Newbold, a career security official at the White House for 18 years, has said the Trump administration overruled security experts to give questionable security clearances to more than two dozen people.

Cummings warned Kline that, even though the White House ordered him not to appear before the committee, "That is not a valid legal reason to defy a congressional subpoena."

The Republican Trump vowed last week to resist every subpoena from House Democrats investigating his administration and to fight any effort by them to impeach him.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Trott)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.