House panel interviews whistleblower about White House security clearances

Report: Trump’s order on Kushner clearance

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, will be sending a letter to the White House Monday saying the committee has interviewed a whistleblower about concerns with the security clearance process at the White House and that it will begin authorizing subpoenas beginning at the Oversight Committee’s business meeting on Tuesday.

Read Cummings’ letter here:

The letter says the committee conducted a “detailed, on-the-record interview” with whistleblower Tricia Newbold, an adjudications manager in the Personnel Security Office. She has worked as a career employee for the Executive Office of the President for 18 years under Democratic and Republican administrations. Newbold told the committee that “she and other career officials adjudicated denials of dozens of applications for security clearances that were later overturned,” the letter says, and said that she was targeted for retaliation after declining to grant security clearances based on longstanding national security protocols.

Read more details from Newbold’s interview here:

She said she agreed to identify herself publicly “because she strongly believes that Congress must intervene immediately to safeguard our national security.”

Newbold created a document listing approximately 25 individuals who were granted security clearances or eligibility to access national security information despite recommendations to deny their applications. The committee is requesting this information from the White House.

The first subpoena will be issued for Carl Kline, Personnel Security Director at the White House during the first two years of the administration and current DOD employee. Newbold identified Cline as the first person to whom she raised her concerns about the security clearance process. He has not responded to voluntary interview requests.

The committee said they will also interview:

  • The current chief security officer
  • Former Chief Security Officer Cory Louie
  • Chief Operating Officer Samuel Price
  • Former Deputy Chief of Staff Joseph Hagin
  • Deputy Director of Administration William Hughes

Cummings also wrote that the committee “remains open to the possibility of foregoing interviews with certain White House officials” if they produce some documents, including all security clearance policy documents predating June 21, 2018 and data from the Executive Office of the President People Information Center database for John Bolton, Michael Flynn, Sebastian Gorka, Jared Kushner, John McEntee, K.T. McFarland, Robert Porter, Robin Townley and Ivanka Trump.

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