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House oversight gives deadline for White House clearance information

By Danielle Haynes
House oversight gives deadline for White House clearance information
The House oversight committee is seeking documentation on the security clearances of White House adviser Jared Kushner (C) and former national security adviser Michael Flynn (R). File Photo by Aude Guerrucci/UPI | License Photo

March 1 (UPI) -- The House Committee on Oversight and Reform reiterated its request Friday for the White House to turn over documentation on its security clearance process after a report that President Donald Trump overruled concerns about a clearance for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the committee, sent a follow-up letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone after more than a month of requests for information.

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"Since I sent my letter on January 23, I have been negotiating in good faith -- and in private -- to try to obtain the information the Committee needs to conduct its investigation," Cummings said. "However, over the past five weeks, the White House has stalled, equivocated, and failed to produce a single document or witness to the Committee."

Cummings asked for a range of documents connected to the clearances of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, his son, Michael Flynn Jr. and White House adviser Kushner. Kushner had his interim security clearance stripped a year ago. He was then granted a full, top-secret clearance in May.

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On Thursday, The New York Times, citing unnamed sources, reported that Trump intervened to get Kushner his security clearance over the objections of top security officials. The report said the president ordered his then-chief of staff, John Kelly, to grant the clearance.

Prior to the Times report, Trump denied involvement in Kushner's clearance.

"Today, I am writing in light of grave new reports that -- just eight days after the Committee launched this investigation -- President Trump may have falsely claimed that he played no role in the security clearance process," Cummings wrote.

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"If true, these new reports raise grave questions about what derogatory information career officials obtained about Mr. Kushner to recommend denying him access to our nation's most sensitive secrets, why President Trump concealed his role in overruling that recommendation, why General Kelly and Mr. McGahn both felt compelled to document these actions, and why your office is continuing to withhold key documents and witnesses from this Committee," the letter said.

Cummings requested the White House respond to the request by Monday.

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