House Democrats Probing White House Security Clearances

House Oversight and Reform Committee takes direct aim at close Trump aides
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 23, 2019 12:53 PM CST
House Democrats Probing White House Security Clearances
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sits with some of the new House committee chairs at a formal photo session at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A powerful House committee now led by Democrats is opening an investigation into how security clearances have been handled in President Donald Trump's White House and 2016 presidential transition, the AP reports. The inquiry by the House Oversight and Reform Committee takes direct aim at some of those closest to the president over the past two years, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, and former White House aide Rob Porter. The review also sets up one of the first potential fights between a Democrat-led House committee and a White House bracing for a number of investigations in the wake of last year's midterm elections that eroded GOP control in Washington.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the committee chairman, said in a letter released Wednesday that he was undertaking the investigation in response to "grave breaches of national security" involving Flynn and others. Flynn maintained his security clearance even after the White House learned he lied to the FBI about his conversations with Russia's ambassador. He later pleaded guilty to a felony and is awaiting sentencing. The committee also is seeking information about Kushner, who failed to initially disclose some of his foreign meetings, and Porter, who had high level access with an interim security clearance even though the FBI told the White House of past allegations of domestic violence involving Porter. (Hillary Clinton asked for her security clearance to be revoked.)

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