A White House whistleblower told lawmakers that more than two-dozen denials for security clearances have been overturned during the Trump administration, calling Congress her “last hope” for addressing what she considers improper conduct that has left the nation’s secrets exposed.
Tricia Newbold, a longtime White House security adviser, told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that she and her colleagues issued “dozens” of denials for security clearance applications that were later approved despite their concerns about blackmail, foreign influence, or other red flags, according to panel documents released Monday.
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.
“I would not be doing a service to myself, my country, or my children if I sat back knowing that the issues that we have could impact national security,” Newbold told the committee, according to a panel document summarizing her allegations.
Newbold added: “I feel that right now this is my last hope to really bring the integrity back into our office.”
The allegation comes during an escalating fight over the issue between House Democrats and the White House. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the committee chairman, said in a letter to the White House Counsel’s Office that his panel would vote on Tuesday to subpoena at least one individual who overruled Newbold — the committee’s first compulsory move aimed at the White House.
Cummings vowed more subpoenas would follow if the White House didn’t cooperate with his panel’s investigation.
The White House did not immediately respond to an email and a phone call seeking comment.
White House officials whose security clearances are being scrutinized by the House Oversight Committee include the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton, according to the panel’s letter.
The Trump Administration typically does not respond to congressional oversight. History will show how corrupt this administration is, but the Constitution was not written in such a way for government to work with 20/20 hindsight. It is oversight that is needed.