House investigators are demanding the White House immediately turn over documents related to security clearances, after learning that President Donald Trump reportedly lied about overruling intelligence officials’ concerns about granting top-secret clearance to his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
In a letter to the White House counsel on Friday, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) accused the Trump administration of purposely delaying the committee’s investigation on executive security clearance, writing “[t]he White House has… failed to produce a single document or witness to the committee.”
“I am now writing a final time to request your voluntary cooperation with this investigation,” Cummings wrote in the letter, his third sent on this matter to the White House counsel, which has been given a deadline of Monday to respond.
The letter was prompted by a New York Times report, detailing how President Donald Trump overruled intelligence officials and gave Kushner a top-secret security clearance.
The report contradicts the president’s past statements to The Times. In a January interview, Trump said he was “never involved” in helping procure Kushner’s security clearances, adding, “I know that there was issues back and forth about security for numerous people, actually. But I don’t want to get involved in that stuff.”
Various officials who spoke to The Times said, however, that the president was involved in his son-in-law and adviser’s clearance.
Top intelligence and White officials expressed strong reservations about Kushner’s contacts with foreign governments and investors and his failure to disclose this in his clearance application. Overruling these concerns, Trump ordered his former chief of staff, John Kelly, to approve his son-in-law’s clearance in May 2018 — after Kelly had stripped Kushner’s temporary clearance months earlier.
“If true, these new reports raise grave questions,” said Cummings.
While the chairman didn’t say he’d use subpoena power to obtain further information should the administration still not cooperate, he did tell the White House in early February to let his committee know “whether you intend to comply voluntarily or whether the committee should consider alternative means to obtain this information.”