(JTA) — The White House told the former security specialist who approved a security clearance for Jared Kushner to skip an appearance before the House Oversight Committee.
Carl Kline approved Kushner’s security clearance over the objections of two career staffers, both White House security specialists.
Kline was subpoenaed to appear on Tuesday before committee staff of the House Oversight Committee. But White House Deputy Counsel Michael Purpura said in a letter to Kline’s attorney that he should not appear for an interview if the committee does not allow a member of the White House counsel staff to attend, NBC News reported.
Kline’s attorney said in a letter to the committee that his client risks losing his job at the Pentagon if he appears before the committee.
“The White House and Mr. Kline now stand in open defiance of a duly authorized congressional subpoena with no assertion of any privilege of any kind by President Trump,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement. He plans to call a vote to hold Kline in contempt, according to the report.
Kushner’s application for a higher level of clearance from the CIA was turned down. President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law joined the administration with no prior experience in government and a web of foreign contacts and business dealings.
Kline also approved security clearance applications of 25 other people working for the Executive Office of the President over the objections of career personnel, White House security specialist Tricia Newbold told the House committee, as did other sources, according to NBC News.