White House refuses Democrats' demand to hand over security clearance records

White House refuses Democrats' demand to hand over security clearance records

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings says the White House is refusing to produce documents related to security clearances. The CIA and other agency officials had recommended Kushner not get the high level clearance he was seeking, according to the New York Times report.

The farthest-reaching request since Democrats took control of the House underscored lawmakers' determination to hold Trump and those around him accountable for controversies that have dogged the President during his first two years in office - and perhaps lay the grounds for impeachment proceedings. He said letters looking for information were sent to "innocent people to harass them".

Ty Cobb, the veteran Washington attorney who represented the White House as special counsel Robert Mueller ramped up his investigation into Russian meddling, said he considers the man leading the probe "an American hero" and does not share President Donald Trump's view that the Russia inquiry is a politically motivated hoax.

Cummings also brought up former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, who assumed his post after failing to disclose Russian Federation contacts, and who has pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"We have seen the damage done to our democratic institutions in the two years that the Congress refused to conduct responsible oversight", said US Representative Jerrold Nadler, Judiciary Committee chairman.

They are opening a sprawling investigation of whether he and his Administration have engaged in obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power.

"I cooperate all the time with everybody. It's a political hoax".

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A committee lawyer told reporters the immediate aim is to amass a large trove of evidence to guide the investigation and help decide which witnesses to approach. The panel is prepared to use its subpoena power if needed, the lawyer said.

In a letter to the White House, the committee asked for information surrounding former FBI Director James Comey's termination, communications with Justice Department officials, the Trump Tower meeting and multiple other matters.

The announcement of the new investigation follows a bad political week for Trump. "I will be consulting with Members of the Committee to determine our next steps".

'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, ' wrote Cummings. Democrats say talk of impeachment is premature.

He said it was unlikely that investigations into Trump or his inner circle would prosper for long, whether they stemmed from joint prosecutions or referrals like the Cohen probe. The panel says it will seek not only Mueller's final report but also documents used in the grand jury.

The involvement of prosecutors from the Washington, D.C., USA attorney's office and the National Security Division means those three cases - all central to the issue of Russian interference - can continue after Mueller hands his report to the attorney general, a move expected any time that will mark the end of his work.

Democrats are bracing themselves for disappointment at the lack of evidence on Russian Federation; the inquisition into Trump's associates, relatives, and private dealings before the presidency is seen by many observers as an attempt to compensate for the deflation of the "Russia collusion" narrative.

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