Democrats in the House are moving ahead with numerous investigations following the dud that was the Mueller report. If your expectations were that the Mueller report would simply reiterate things we already know, i.e. early chaos in the administration, lies to the press, tweet rants, etc. then it delivered the goods.
But we all know that’s not what Democrats and the media expected. They spent two years pushing the idea that Trump was a Russian agent and they aren’t going to let go of their dreams that easily.
Their new tool is endless, pointless Congressional inquiries by bad-faith actors like Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, and Elijah Cummings.
Cummings in particular has decided to chase the rabbit of the administration giving security clearances to some officials. He began handing out subpoenas, specifically for Carl Kline, who now works for the Dept. of Defense.
Trump’s answer? Go jump in a lake.
A former White House personnel security director has been instructed by the White House not to show up Tuesday for questioning by the House Oversight Committee.
The move appears to be the latest effort by the Trump administration to push back against congressional inquiries targeting the White House, which have proliferated since Democrats took control of the House in January.
White House deputy counsel Michael M. Purpura wrote a letter Monday asking the former security director, Carl Kline, not to show up as the committee had requested. Kline is now working at the Defense Department.
In a letter to Kline’s lawyer obtained by The Washington Post, Purpura wrote that a committee subpoena asking Kline to appear “unconstitutionally encroaches on fundamental executive branch interests.”
This is the right answer.
The administration has clear statutory authority to grant security clearances to whomever they like. If Trump wants to give one to his dog, he can legally do so (ok, maybe not his dog but you get the point). There’s no role for Congress to stick its nose in that process. If they want to change the laws on security clearances, they can do so. That’s their check on the system.
Barack Obama gave security clearances to some officials who the FBI initially recommended against and Democrats didn’t say a word. Why? Because it was understood that it’s the President who’s elected and gets to make that decision, not bureaucrats. In fact, it was Barack Obama who first relaxed the guidelines for security clearances.
The Trump White House has been accused of being too generous in doling out access to the nation’s secrets. But it was Obama officials who altered the guidelines weeks before they left office in early 2017 to provide additional mitigating factors for employees seeking clearances.
The guidelines now allow staffers with dual passports, tax problems and suspicious lie detector test results to receive clearances.
The White House needs to continue to play hardball. If Democrats had shown any effort to operate in good faith on these topics, I’d be more encouraging of cooperation. They’ve blown that long ago and re-blew it in the last few weeks since the Mueller report dropped.
These aren’t serious people and they shouldn’t be treated as such. Every legal method to obstruct their “investigations” should be taken, including claiming executive privilege and laughing at their subpoenas. We learned from Obama’s wingman, former AG Eric Holder, that being held in contempt of Congress is meaningless anyway.
The media will scream, but they’ll do that anyway. Ignoring this subpoena by Cummings’ committee is a good first step in fighting back.