White House Refuses to Turn Over Security Clearance Documents to House Democrats

March 5, 2019, 9:25 PM UTC

The White House is refusing to provide information regarding alleged security clearance abuses to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, increasing the chance House Democrats will subpoena the documents, The Washington Post reports.

Arguing that Congress does not have oversight of security clearance approvals, the White House instead offered broad policy documents and a briefing on general procedures, the House Oversight and Reform Committee said Tuesday.Getty Images…

“The White House’s argument defies the Constitutional separation of powers, decades of precedent before this Committee, and just plain common-sense,” said Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings in a statement. “The White House security clearance system is broken, and it needs both congressional oversight and legislative reform.”

The conflict comes on the heels of a New York Times report that President Donald Trump forced his chief of staff to give a top-secret security clearance to his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, against the wishes of intelligence officials. Trump denies having had any influence on Kushner’s clearance.

“There is a key difference between a president who exercises his authority under the Constitution and a president who overrules career experts and his top advisors to benefit his family members and then conceals his actions from the American people,” said Cummings, adding that he would consult with the rest of the committee before making any decisions.

House Democrats have stepped up their investigations of Trump recently, requesting documents from 81 agencies and Trump associates earlier this week.

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