As if things in Washington DC couldn’t become even more contentious than they are now, the White House is now openly instructing staff to ignore subpoenas being issued by Congress.
At the center of the issue is the security clearance of President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner; a designation that was bestowed upon Kushner despite heavy opposition even within the White House itself.
The issuing official, Carl Kline, has been subpoenaed by lawmakers in order to get a clearer picture as to why Kushner was granted the level of clearance he maintains today.
The White House has other plans, apparently.
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The White House has told Carl Kline, the former security specialist who approved Jared Kushner’s security clearance over the objections of career staffers, not to comply with a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee, according to a letter obtained by NBC News.
Kline was supposed to appear before committee staff Tuesday to face questions related to his handling of White House security clearances.
But in a letter to Kline’s attorney Robert Driscoll dated Monday, White House Deputy Counsel Michael Purpura said Kline should not appear for an interview if the committee does not allow a member of the White House counsel staff to attend.
The letter made it very clear that Kline could be fired if he chooses to comply with the subpoena.
Driscoll sent his own letter to the committee, saying that Kline risked jeopardizing his job at the Pentagon if he defied the White House. “This decision is not made lightly and does not come from any ill will or deliberate defiance on my part or that of my client,” Driscoll wrote to congressional staffers.
“With two masters from two equal branches of government, we will follow the instructions of the one that employs him,” Driscoll added.
Congressional leaders will soon be discussing a possible vote to hold Kline in contempt should he follow the orders of the White House.
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