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Ex-security chief to appear before Congress, won’t be held in contempt

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April 28 (UPI) — A former White House security clearance boss will appear before a House committee, avoiding the initiation of contempt proceeding.

Carl Kline disobeyed a subpoena to testify and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings was planning to hold him in contempt. But the Democrat agreed to have Kline interviewed Wednesday with a White House lawyer present.

“Based on the record before us, I am confident that the Committee could move forward with contempt against you immediately, particularly since your defiance of the Committee’s subpoena was so flagrant,” Cummings wrote to Kline in a Saturday letter obtained by Polito. “However, I have always endeavored to be as fair as possible in the pursuit of truth, particularly with witnesses who are willing to come before the committee.”

Earlier this month, Cummings issued a subpoena requiring his testimony last Tuesday. But the White House advised Klein, who now works in the Defense Department, not to appear because Cummings would not allow a White House attorney to attend Kline’s deposition, citing committee rules.

“Carl and I will attend Wednesday voluntarily, as we have offered from the beginning. I hope the session is productive,” Robert Driscoll, Kline’s attorney, said in a statement obtained by CNN.

The committee’s top Republican, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, wrote to White House counsel Pat Cipollone asking to allow Kline to sit down for a voluntary transcribed interview to avoid “unnecessary conflict” and “de-escalate Chairman Cummings’ orchestrated interbranch confrontation.”

Cummings said Saturday that contempt proceeding will be initiated if Kline isn’t forthcoming during his interview.

House Democrats want to hear from Klein after a whistleblower’s complaint that he overruled career staffers to approve high-level security clearances for top White House personnel. Tricia Newbold, an 18-year employee of the office, said Kline repeatedly overruled her. President Donald Trump‘s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner reportedly was among those whose security clearances were approved despite national security concerns.

Trump does’t want current and former administration personnel to accept Democratic oversight requests.

Attorney General William Barr is slated to testify to the House Judiciary Committee on special counsel Robert Mueller‘s report. But CNN reported Barr might not show up if he is required to answer questions from committee members for more than one round of five minutes each. Barr also doesn’t want to meet with the members in closed sessions to discussed the redacted portion.

Barr also is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is controlled by Republicans, on Wednesday

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