White House agrees to let ex-chief of security personnel to testify before House Oversight Committee

/ CBS News

White House remains defiant

The White House has agreed to let the House Oversight Committee interview Carl Kline, the former White House Personnel Security Director, according to a letter from White House counsel Pat Cipollone, but only if his testimony is limited to "policies and practices" of the security clearance process. It's unclear if Democrats will agree to the conditions, which they have criticized in the past.

Kline, who now is a Defense Department employee, helped oversee the security clearance process in the White House, a process which has come under scrutiny ever since former White House aide Rob Porter was accused of abusing his former wives. Tricia Newbold, a current White House employee and whistleblower, alleged Kline approved clearances for at least 25 White House staffers over the objections of career employees in the office.

Newbold told the House Oversight Committee decisions on clearance applications for White House officials weren't always made in the "best interest of national security."

Newbold also claims Kline ignored concerns she voiced that the White House was granting security clearances against recommendations.

Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings had earlier issued a subpoena for Kline's testimony. But Kline — the administration's direction — didn't show up.

Politico first reported the White House cleared Kline to testify.

The White House said Kline would appear May 1. A Republican familiar with the matter told CBS News committee Republicans will attend Wednesday's interview whether or not Democrats decide to show up.

First published on April 27, 2019 / 1:21 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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