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Cummings Seeks Subpoena for Documents White House is Withholding on Failure to Suspend Security Clearances for Flynn and Kushner

Jan 18, 2018
Press Release

Cummings Seeks Subpoena for Documents

White House is Withholding on Failure to Suspend

Security Clearances for Flynn and Kushner

 

Washington, DC (Jan. 18, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter requesting that Chairman Trey Gowdy issue a subpoena to compel the White House to produce documents it has been withholding from Congress relating to its failure to suspend the security clearances of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Senior Adviser to the President Jared Kushner while authorities investigated—and continue to investigate—credible allegations against them involving national security issues.

“The White House has been blocking our efforts to obtain documents relating to this matter for more than six months,” Cummings wrote.  “It is now up to the Committee to exercise its oversight jurisdiction and compel the White House to turn over the documents it has been withholding from Congress for the better part of a year.”

On June 21, 2017, the Democratic Members of the Committee wrote to the White House requesting documents relating to their failure to suspend the security clearances of Flynn and Kushner pending investigations—which appeared to violate Executive Order 12968 and ran counter to the Department of Defense manual governing the suspension of security clearances during pending investigations.

“The rules governing the suspension of security clearances were established to protect our national security by temporarily halting the flow of classified information until allegations are fully investigated and resolved,” Cummings wrote.  “We do not understand why the White House disregarded these rules in these cases, but it is our responsibility on the Oversight Committee to find out.”

In today’s letter, Cummings explained that during the 18-day period before Flynn was finally fired, the White House failed to suspend his access to our nation’s most sensitive national security information, and no White House official has explained why his clearance was not suspended after credible warnings from the Justice Department or during the White House Counsel’s own investigation. 

Cummings also highlighted press reports that Kushner continues to have access to national security information even as his foreign contacts continue to be the focus of the Special Counsel’s investigation, and that after initially failing to disclose any foreign contacts in his application, he “supplemented the list of foreign contacts three times, adding more than 100 names.”

In October, the Director of the National Background Investigations Bureau testified before our Committee that Mr. Kushner’s “level of mistakes” was unprecedented.

Cummings requested a subpoena for documents and communications relating to Flynn’s and Kushner’s clearances and potential suspensions, as well as policies or guidance referring to how the White House implements, enforces, or handles suspension of security clearances.

“If you refuse to issue this subpoena, then I ask you to place this matter on the agenda for our next regularly scheduled business meeting so all Committee members will have the opportunity to vote on a motion to subpoena the White House for these documents,” Cummings wrote to Gowdy.

Click here to read today’s letter.

 

115th Congress