White House says former official can speak to Oversight panel next week

White House says former official can speak to Oversight panel next week
© Greg Nash

The White House has agreed to allow former personnel security director Carl Kline speak to the House Oversight and Reform Committee next week, the White House counsel said in a letter Friday obtained by The Hill.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanCummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question Cummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question House Oversight Republicans release parts of Kobach, Trump officials' testimony on census citizenship question MORE (Ohio), the top Republican on the Oversight panel, after Jordan urged the administration to make Kline available for a voluntary transcribed interview on April 30 or May 1.

Cipollone wrote Friday that "we have consulted with Mr. Kline's attorney regarding the interview dates proposed in your letter. Mr. Kline is available to appear for an interview on Wednesday, May 1."

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"We understand the scope of the interview will be limited to White House personnel security policies and practices, consistent with our prior offers for Mr. Kline's voluntary cooperation with the Committee. We also understand that, as a matter of fairness, Mr. Kline may be accompanied by both his personal counsel and a representative of the Office of Counsel to the President," he added.

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question Cummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question Top Dems question legal basis for appointing Cuccinelli as temporary immigration chief MORE (D-Md.), the chairman of the Oversight panel, had issued a subpoena for Kline to testify before the committee on its investigation into the White House security clearance process.

Cummings blasted the White House this week for blocking Kline from testifying and signaled that he would pursue contempt proceedings against the former top official, who left his role at the White House and now works at the Pentagon.

The White House had insisted that Kline not appear before the panel because Cummings was not allowing a White House representative to attend his deposition, citing committee rules.

Cummings's staff did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday night.

An appearance by Kline on Wednesday would come the same day Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTrump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Cummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question MORE is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first of two days of testimony on Capitol Hill.

Barr is expected to face questions from lawmakers over his handling of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's report as well as his decision not to pursue an obstruction of justice charge against President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE based on Mueller's findings.

Tal Axelrod contributed reporting.