Nancy Pelosi’s quest to impeach Donald Trump is off to a disastrous start.
Democrats thought they dug up a whistleblower that would get the ball rolling on revealing the corruption of the Trump administration.
But Nancy Pelosi could not believe the massive embarrassment she just suffered.
Democrats tried to make hay out of the Trump administration grating security clearances to Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.
Low-level career staff initially denied their clearances but were overridden by the administration.
That is all legal.
The President gets to decide who sees classified information.
But Democrats tried to claim the President put national security at risk by allowing Kushner and Ivanka Trump access to the nation’s most closely held secrets because their business dealings made them vulnerable to compromise by foreign intelligence services.
Former Director of the White House’s Personnel Security Office Carl Kline shut down this nonsense in a closed-door testimony before the Oversight and Reform Committee.
Kline said he was never pressured to override the decisions to deny Kushner and Ivanka Trump security clearances.
He also testified that he made his decision because he felt the career staffers that initially rejected their security clearances were not used to dealing with vetting individuals with complex business portfolios.
Carl Kline, the former director of the White House’s Personnel Security Office, told the House Oversight and Reform Committee this week that he had overruled the recommendations of his staff and approved security clearances for White House officials on his own authority, and denied that President Trump or anyone else had directed him to do it.
“I have never been approached by anybody at the White House or outside the White House to adjudicate a case, one way or the other, in my tenure at the White House,” Mr. Kline said on Wednesday, according to a congressional official with direct knowledge of his testimony.
Mr. Kline was responding to testimony by a subordinate, Tricia Newbold, who told the committee in March how he frequently overruled the recommendations of security specialists and described how she had kept a running list of at least 25 officials whose clearance applications Mr. Kline had approved, despite a “wide range” of disqualifying information, including drug use, financial problems and criminal conduct.
Two of those officials were Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, the president’s son-in-law and eldest daughter, both of whom serve as senior advisers in the White House. NBC News reported that Mr. Kline overruled recommendations against giving Mr. Kushner a clearance, despite concerns from F.B.I. officials.
Democrats hoped Kline’s testimony would be the first domino to fall in a series of scandals that would result in either the defeat or impeachment of Donald Trump.
But like so many “bombshell scandals” in the Trump era, it fizzled out into nothing.
We will keep you up-to-date on any more developments in this ongoing story.