Whistleblower says White House overturned 25 denied security clearances

Apr 03, 2019, 00:32
Whistleblower says White House overturned 25 denied security clearances

She said the reasons why the 25 officials had been initially rejected included foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use and criminality.

An attorney for former White House official Carl Kline has written to House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings saying Kline is willing to be interviewed by the committee for an investigation into the White House security clearance process, asking that he not be subpoenaed.

Lowell could not say whether or not Kushner shared classified information but noted the president's son-in-law took screen shots of his WhatsApp messages and sent them to his official White House email account or to the National Security Council so they could be preserved, as required by the Presidential Records Act.

"I would not be doing a service to myself, my country, or my children if I sat back knowing that the issues that we have could impact national security", Newbold told the committee.

A White House whistleblower at the centre of a furore over security clearances granted to Trump administration aides has dismissed claims that Jared Kushner is one of the individuals at the centre of her complaint. She said she is coming forward because she believes "that right now this is my last hope to really bring the integrity back into our office".

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Newbold also told the oversight committee staff that the White House security office stopped conducting credit checks on applicants to work in the White House during their initial suitability reviews.

Cummings said the White House and Kline's lawyer on Monday responded he would voluntarily testify but would not answer questions about specific security clearance cases or violations.

In his ten years on the Oversight committee, Jordan said he'd "never seen anything like this".

"The interview of Ms Newbold was conducted on a Saturday morning at 8:30am and Republicans on the committee were not informed of the interview's topic or witness until 3:30pm the day before, leaving little to no time to prepare".

Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House committee, issued a statement calling the letter a "partisan attack" that was "an excuse to go fishing through the personal files of dedicated public servants".

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She called for issuing subpoenas to the White House because the administration is not cooperating.

"I disclosed all of my holdings for the Office of Government Ethics, and what I did with them is they told me what to divest, what to keep, what rules to follow". Instead, she said, the White House retaliated, suspending her in January for 14 days without pay for not following a new policy requiring that documents be scanned as separate PDF files rather than one single PDF file.

The denials by the career employees were overturned, she said, by more-senior officials who did not follow the procedures created to mitigate security risks.

Cummings said on Tuesday these conditions were unacceptable. They say the Trump administration has declined to provide those documents despite repeated requests.

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