After weeks of stalling from the White House, the House Oversight Committee is demanding “full and immediate compliance” with its request for documents regarding the decision to grant a top-secret security clearance to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.
The demand, sent in a letter from Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, comes after a bombshell Thursday report from the New York Times revealing that Trump himself had ordered Kushner be granted the clearance, over the objections of the CIA and then-White House counsel Don McGahn.
“I am writing in light of grave new reports that — just eight days after the Committee launched this investigation — President Trump may have falsely claimed that he played no role in the security clearance process,” wrote Cummings.
The letter ominously noted that this is the “final time” the documents will be requested, suggesting that Congress will use its subpoena power if the White House does not comply voluntarily — which wouldn’t be the first time it has done so as part of other ongoing investigations into Trump’s corruption.
Cummings said the reports “raise grave questions about what derogatory information career officials obtained” about Kushner that would cause them to oppose him being granted access “to our nation’s most sensitive secrets.”
Cummings also said Americans need to know “why President Trump concealed his role in overruling that recommendation,” and why the White House counsel has insisted on withholding “key documents and witnesses from this Committee.”
The White House has been sitting on the request for months. House Republicans, as part of their strategy to turn a blind eye to Trump corruption, did not push the issue.
That changed when Democrats took over control of the House with a mandate from voters to finally exercise proper oversight of the White House.
The CIA didn’t want to grant Kushner top-secret clearance in part because of his track record of troubling ties and connections to foreign powers, which would leave him vulnerable to blackmail and other compromise efforts.
But Trump reportedly violated the normal security protocol for approving such clearances — and as a result, America’s secrets were put in the hands of a Trump family member who obtained his position through nepotism and who could easily be compromised by a foreign power.
Based on Kushner’s shady background alone, Democrats had already successfully demanded that Kushner should no longer be given access to top-secret materials. Now they have the power to expose the corruption that wrongly gave him that access in the first place.
Published with permission of The American Independent.
IMAGE: House Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD).