A whistleblower has claimed that as many as 25 security clearances that the White House requested were denied due to security concerns — only to be overruled and granted. House Democrats have promised to launch a full investigation into the matter, the Washington Post reported.
Who is this whistleblower?
Tricia Newbold is a White House security adviser and has worked as a "security specialist for the federal government" for the past 18 years. She was suspended without pay after she came forward. She was recently interviewed on March 23 by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
What did she say?
Newbold told the House Oversight Committee that the Trump administration had overruled denials for security clearances on 25 separate occasions. These allegedly included "two current senior White House officials."
According to a memo regarding her testimony, these clearances were denied over concerns that the applicants had "a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct." One of the senior officials, who was not identified, was specifically said to be disqualified due to "foreign influence."
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who chairs the committee, informed the White House Counsel's Office that he was seeking a subpoena for one of the people who allegedly approved security clearances despite Newbold's misgivings.
He wrote, "In light of the grave reports from this whistleblower — and the ongoing refusal of the White House to provide the information we need to conduct our investigation — the committee now plans to proceed with compulsory process and begin authorizing subpoenas, starting at tomorrow's business meeting."
The White House previously told the committee that it would not comply with its investigation into the security clearance of Jared Kushner, the president's senior adviser and son-in-law, calling it "overly intrusive."