White House moves to block official from congressional testimony despite subpoena

Source: The Hill | April 23, 2019 | Alicia Cohn

The White House has instructed a former official accused of mishandling security clearances not to appear at his planned congressional testimony on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

Carl Kline, who now works for the Defense Department, faces a subpoena and planned to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on April 23 as part of its ongoing probe into the Trump administration’s security clearance process.

The move follows President Trump and his private business moving to block House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings’s (D-Md.) separate subpoena requesting financial records from the president’s accountant. Trump filed a lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday.

CNN reported that the White House is accusing Democrats of trying to gain confidential information that should be off limits. 

White House deputy counsel Michael Purpura advised Kline not to appear, according to The Washington Post, and Kline’s attorney agreed with the White House recommendation.

“With two masters from two equal branches of government, we will follow the instructions of the one that employs him,” his attorney reportedly wrote.

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