Oversight chair slams White House for attempt to defy Constitution

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The Trump White House is refusing to give Congress information about potential compromises to national security.

The Trump White House is refusing to comply with the House Oversight Committee's repeated requests for information about why Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was granted a top-secret security clearance over the objections of the CIA.

And House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings is not pleased.

In a statement, Cummings slammed the Trump administration for its attempt to bypass constitutionally mandated oversight of the executive branch.

"The White House appears to be arguing that Congress has no authority to examine decisions by the Executive Branch that impact our national security—even when the President’s former National Security Advisor has pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with foreign government officials," Cummings wrote.

"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," he added. "The White House’s argument defies the Constitutional separation of powers, decades of precedent before this Committee, and just plain common-sense."

Cummings concluded his letter by letting the White House know he plans to consult with members of the committee "to determine our next steps."

For weeks, the Trump administration has been stalling and refusing to comply with requests from the committee on the process it used to grant security clearances, including to Kushner.

Cummings concluded his letter by letting the White House know he plans to consult with members of the committee "to determine our next steps."

A New York Times report revealed that Trump personally ordered that Kushner be granted a top-secret clearance over the objections of the CIA and then-White House counsel Don McGahn. That prompted Cummings to demand "full and immediate compliance" with the document request.

At that time, Cummings said the news reports raised "grave questions about what derogatory information career officials obtained" about Kushner, and why that information made them oppose him getting access to "our nation's most sensitive secrets."

Trump chose to overrule the CIA despite Kushner's repeated failure to disclose his personal contacts and financial connections to foreign entities, which could leave him open to compromise.

The episode opens up the very real possibility that a sitting president has enabled a serious security breach.

And now the White House is adding to the cover-up by refusing to cooperate with Congress in its constitutionally mandated oversight of the executive branch.

Trump has prioritized cronyism and his own personal gain over American security and safety, and Republicans in Congress allowed his abuses to go unchecked for two years.

But with Democrats in charge, that is quickly changing — and the White House clearly can't handle it.

Published with permission of The American Independent.