Republicans just ignored it, but House Democrats will investigate how Trump endangered American security.
The Trump administration’s “grave breaches of national security at the highest levels” are now under official Congressional investigation.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced the “in-depth” probe in a letter addressed to White House counsel Pat Cipollone. The committee will investigate breaches of security and protocol, and avoidance of the law, occurring from the date of Trump’s election in 2016 up until the present.
The Oversight Committee is requesting massive amounts of documents and communications materials related to the lapses in security that could endanger the country.
Cummings wrote, “The Committee on Oversight and Reform is launching an in-depth investigation of the security clearance process at the White House and Transition Team in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration, including by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and others.”
In a release, Cummings said similar letters have been sent to Mike Pence, the FBI, the State Department, and the NRA.
He said the investigation has been put in place to determine why the Trump administration and transition team “disregarded established procedures for safeguarding classified information,” and allowed top secrets to be given to officials “who should not have had access to them.”
Last year multiple White House staffers were terminated or reassigned when it became clear they could not obtain security clearances.
That information was revealed during the scandal surrounding Trump giving classified information to aide Rob Porter, who could not obtain a security clearance due to a protective order issued against him by his wife. The Trump team tried to cover up the allegations of spousal abuse against Porter.
Cummings also said the investigation will find out why the administration is currently defying federal law by refusing to give Congress details of the security clearance process at the White House.
Trump didn’t suspend then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s clearance, even after Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House Counsel that he was “vulnerable to being compromised by Russia.”
The letter from Cummings singles out Mike Pence, noting that he headed the presidential transition team but hasn’t come clean about whether Flynn’s clearance application was submitted to the appropriate agencies.
Since then, Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is providing evidence in the ongoing special counsel investigation of the Trump campaign and its connection to Russian operatives.
Similarly, Trump is stonewalling Congress on providing information about why Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has retained his clearance, despite failing to come clean about meetings with Russian officials.
Current National Security Adviser John Bolton worked with admitted Russian spy (and NRA influencer) Maria Butina, but the Trump administration hasn’t given Congress the details of that relationship either.
For nearly two years, Republicans running House committees ignored these serious issues and the massive implications that breaches in security could have for the nation. Less than a month into the new year, the new Democratic chairman and his committee are doing the work the GOP refused to do.
Published with permission of The American Independent.