Elijah Cummings Moves Forward with Subpoenas After Whistleblower Comes Forward
Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), House Oversight Committee Chair, on Monday revealed that Tricia Newbold -- who currently works inside the White House Security Office -- sat for a confidential, on-the-record, day-long interview to relay grave concerns about the dysfunction she has witnessed over the past two years regarding the Trump administration granting security clearances. At least 25 people who were initially denied them for a range of disqualifying issues, such as fears about foreign influence, were cleared despite these concerns. Newbold, who has a rare form of dwarfism, now says she’s facing humiliating forms of retaliation -- including her colleagues “physically elevating personnel security files out of her reach.” She highlighted the dangers of the security clearance process in the Trump administration present to national security and implored the Committee to immediately conduct independent oversight of these matters. Cummings sent a letter Monday to WH Counsel Pat Cipollone announcing that the Committee is authorizing subpoenas since the White House has refused to produce a single piece of paper or a single requested witness since the Committee launched its investigation. “The Committee respects the President’s authority to grant security clearances. However, the White House must respect Congress’ co-equal and independent authority to investigate who has been given access to our nation’s secrets, how they obtained that access, the extent to which national security has been compromised, and whether Congress should amend current laws to improve national security and enhance transparency over these decisions,” Cummings wrote. The NYT also reported that the whistleblower revealed that Advisor-on-All-the-Things Jared Kushner was initially denied a security clearance due to drug use, foreign influence concerns, possible criminal conduct, and financial problems. Stay tuned. More here.