Now that the Democrats control the House of Representatives, they have gained a most important power: The right to subpoena members of the Trump Administration in their investigations.
Rep, Elijah Cummings (D- MD) has decided to schedule a House of Representatives vote on the issue of the refusal of Carl Kline, former White House Personnel Security Director to respond to his subpoena. As a result of Kline’s refusal, Rep. Cummings, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has floated the idea of holding Kline in contempt for refusing the invitation to speak before the House of Representatives. Here is Rep. Cummings’s full statement:
BREAKING: Cummings plans to schedule a contempt vote for Carl Kline for defying subpoena to testify on security clearances. pic.twitter.com/ojuYQM4AUp
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) April 23, 2019
In the statement regarding Kline’s refusal with the recommendation to decline the offer at the behest of the Trump Administration, there is a passage that states how things will be handled:
“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. 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 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. To date, the White House has refused to produce a single piece of paper or a single witness in any of the Committee’s investigations this entire year.”
Elijah Cummings has every right, as Oversight House Chairman, to request the presence of members of the Administration.
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.