Ex-White House official willing to be interviewed by committee

An attorney for former White House official Carl Kline has written to House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings saying Kline is willing to be interviewed by the committee for an investigation into the White House security clearance process, asking that he not be subpoenaed.

According to the letter obtained by CNN, Kline is a current government employee and a former “nonpolitical employee” of the Executive Office of the President and “is more than willing to cooperate with the Committee to the extent he is permitted to do so by law.”

“Serving a committee subpoena on a heretofore anonymous nonpolitical government employee, who is willing to work with all parties to see if appropriate resolution to a constitutional and legal dispute can be resolved by agreement, is both an extreme and unnecessary step,” wrote Robert Driscoll, Kline’s attorney.

In an interview with CNN on Monday night, Cummings suggested that Kline’s response to the committee thus far has been insufficient.

The Maryland Democrat said Kline representatives had told him that “they might have him come in but that he would be limited to only talking about the process in general and would not talk about what happened in these cases.”

Cummings added: “Well, that’s nice to hear, but after we’ve been trying to get this information for more than a month, and I’d rather for him to come in and be mandated to give us the information that we need. And then we go from there.”

The lawmaker said earlier that he plans to issue a subpoena demanding an interview with Kline — who served as the personnel security director at the White House during President Donald Trump’s first two years in office — as part of the Democrats’ investigation into the handling of the security clearance process, including for Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump, both of whom are White House advisers.

Cummings released a memo Monday detailing an interview with a White House employee — whom he described as a whistleblower — that alleges that the White House has overturned the security clearance denials of 25 individuals, including two current senior White House officials, saying those decisions were occurring “without proper analysis, documentation, or a full understanding and acceptance of the risks.”