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Top Democrat threatens to hold former White House official in contempt

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said Tuesday that Democrats are moving toward holding a former White House personnel security director in contempt after he refused to answer the panel’s questions.
Carl Kline, a former official who oversaw the security clearance process at the White House, was subpoenaed last week to appear before the committee Tuesday, but his lawyer said he would not appear after the White House directed him not to comply with the subpoena.
“The White House and Mr. Kline now stand in open defiance of a duly authorized congressional subpoena with no assertion of any privilege of any kind by President Trump,” Cummings said in a statement.

“Based on these actions, it appears that the President believes that the Constitution does not apply to his White House, that he may order officials at will to violate their legal obligations, and that he may obstruct attempts by Congress to conduct oversight. It also appears that the White House believes that it may dictate to Congress — an independent and co-equal branch of government — the scope of its investigations and even the rules by which it conducts them,” he said.
It’s the latest escalation in a tense standoff between Cummings and the president.
Trump and his businesses sued Cummings on Monday in response to the Democrat subpoenaing Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, in an effort to obtain 10 years of the president’s financial records.

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