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House Oversight Chairman Criticizes WH Over Not Releasing Documents

Cummings responded Tuesday to a letter from White House counsel rejecting the committee's request for security clearance documents.
Posted at 11:39 PM, Mar 05, 2019

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings criticized the White House for not handing over documents regarding the administration’s security clearance approval process — again. In a letter made public Tuesday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone rejected Cummings’ request for the documents.

Cipollone called the committee’s request “intrusive” and said the panel did not give any legal reasoning for why the White House had to turn over the documents.

Cummings responded in a statement, saying: "The White House appears to be arguing that Congress has no authority to examine decisions by the Executive Branch. ... 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." 

The House oversight committee opened an investigation into the White House's security clearance approval process — and why it allegedly ignored its own procedures — in January.

CNN reported Tuesday the president had ordered former White House chief of staff John Kelly to grant his daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump security clearance. Less than a week ago, The New York Times reported that President Trump had also asked Kelly to grant clearance to his son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

Meanwhile, another investigation just began earlier this week. A House panel launched an investigation Monday into possible obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuse of power by President Trump. 

Also on Tuesday, the president signaled that the White House won't comply with Democrats' request for those documents either. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.