Rep. Cummings wants answers on how Kushner, Flynn, and others got their security clearances
The Democratic chair of the House Oversight Committee is finally going to conduct some oversight on the security clearance process that awarded high-level clearances to people such as Jared Kushner, who’s been forced to update his clearance application more times than anyone can track, and Michael Flynn, who was later discovered to have been working as a foreign agent for Turkey.
In a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone Wednesday, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland writes that the Oversight and Reform Committee is “launching an in-depth investigation” into the clearance process for both the White House and the Trump transition team. At base, the committee wants to know why Trump and his administration “appear to have disregarded established procedures for safeguarding classified information” and to glean to what extent highly guarded state secrets have been accessible to officials who had no business having that kind of access.
Cummings then listed nearly a dozen instances in which the White House completely ignored previous inquiries from the committee while it was headed by Republicans. They include questions about: 1) why then-national security adviser Flynn’s clearance remained intact even after Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House that Flynn was lying about his contacts with Russia; 2) why Kushner kept his clearance despite lying about his Russian contacts; and 3) why wife-abuser Rob Porter was allowed to continue working under an “interim” security clearance even after the FBI provided the White House with credible reports relating to his history of domestic violence.
The list goes on, followed by a lengthy document request that includes “transcribed interviews” with all staffers in the White House Personnel Security Office, set to begin next month.
Finally—finally—someone in power cares about the Trump administration’s fly-by-night approach to allowing pretty much anyone access to state secrets, and they plan to get to the bottom of it all.