Democrats vow investigation after whistleblower says Trump administration overruled denials for clearance

FBI Whistleblower: Kushner was one of 25 Trump Officials to Have Security Clearance Overridden

Trump office cleared 25 officials originally disqualified over security fears, whistleblower claims

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Tuesday leveled the Trump administration for granting security clearance to multiple officials who had been flagged for having "serious disqualifying issues".

The White House has actively resisted Cummings' probe into the security clearance issue after multiple media outlets reported past year that President Donald Trump personally overrode the decisions of career security officials not to give clearances to senior advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president's daughter and son-in-law, in addition to others.

A whistleblower at the White House, speaking to the House Oversight Committee, raised concerns about the security clearance process recently - and how a number of clearances supposedly were approved despite some issues, including foreign influence and drug use.

Newbold told lawmakers she maintained a list of White House officials whose clearance applications were initially denied, only for the decision to later be overturned.

But Cummings has requested information relating to former and current White House officials, including National Security Adviser John Bolton, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Kushner.

Now, republicans in a dueling memo, say, these charges are exaggerated and that Democrats have cherry-picked her testimony.

Newbold, an 18-year veteran of the security clearance process who has served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, said she warned her superiors that clearances "were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security" - and was retaliated against for doing so.

Barr has said he will issue a redacted copy of Mueller's full report by mid-April, but Democrats want it without redactions and have demanded it be given to them this week.

He said the chairman mischaracterized at least some of the 25 security-clearance cases, noting that one of them involved a custodian at the General Services Administration.

"I feel that right now this is my last hope to really bring the integrity back into our office", Newbold said, according to the memo.

"Chairman Cummings has departed from longstanding bipartisan oversight of the security clearance process to advance his partisan efforts to attack the president", Jordan said. "I'm terrified of going back".

The committee has tried to schedule interviews with potential witnesses, but the White House has "sought to block these witnesses from cooperating" with the probe, Cummings wrote in a memo to other committee members Monday.

Several news outlets have reported that Mr. Trump a year ago directed then-Chief of Staff John F. Kelly to give Mr. Kushner a top-secret security clearance, which he did despite apparent reluctance. After reviewing the report, Attorney General William Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress last week, saying Mueller "did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russian Federation in its efforts to influence the 2016 USA presidential election".

The allegation comes during an escalating fight over the issue between House Democrats and the White House.

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