The former head of White House security clearances told congressional investigators on Wednesday he was never instructed to change a security clearance determination by anyone at the White House, a source familiar with his closed-door interview told Reuters.
Carl Kline spoke with investigators after days of conflict over whether he would appear. He told them all security clearance decisions were made by career professionals and he was never asked by anyone in the White House or Oval Office to do his job differently, the source said.
Kline’s appearance before investigators of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee came as the panel is looking into the issuance of high-level security clearances to some staffers in the Trump White House, despite recommendations from career officials that those officials should not receive them, Reuters writes.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner were among the two dozen or so staffers who got those clearances, said two congressional sources familiar with the matter. Kline was in charge of White House clearances at the time.
Kline has since left the White House and is now a Defense Department employee.
The committee voted last month to subpoena Kline, compelling him to appear to testify on the matter. The Trump administration initially told Kline to ignore the subpoena. Last week, Trump told reporters: “We’re fighting all the subpoenas.”
After Republican committee member Jim Jordan intervened, the Democratic chairman of the panel, Elijah Cummings, said three days ago he was putting off here holding Kline in contempt of Congress after an agreement was reached permitting him to meet with investigators.
The clearances investigation was triggered earlier this year by a whistleblower. It is one of multiple probes here being pursued by House Democrats into Trump, his presidency and his businesses. Some of the inquiries are expected to run into the 2020 presidential election season, Reuters adds.