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House Oversight Committee chair postpones holding White House official in contempt



Former official Carl Kline will instead appear before the committee for a transcribed interview on Wednesday after he did not comply with a subpoena for a deposit.

"I was confident that the committee could move forward with contempt against you immediately, especially since the defenses of the committees were so flagrant," the Maryland Democrat wrote in a letter to Saturday. "However, I have always endeavored to be as fair as possible in the pursuit of truth, especially with witnesses who are willing to come before the Committee."

The White House on Monday had instructed Kline, who now works at the Defense Department, to defy a committee because of the White House attorney to attend Kline's deposit, citing committee rules.

Kline's personal counsel and attorneys from the White House Counsel's office will now be allowed to attend the interview.

"Carl and I will attend Wednesday, as we have offered from the beginning. is productive, "Robert Driscoll, Kline's attorney, said in a statement.

Kline's testimony has been a high interest for Democrats after a career White House official duty investigators that Cline greenlighted security clearances for White House officials despite red flags raised in the vetting process.

The committee's top Republican, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, sent a letter Friday asking White House counsel Pat Cipollone to allow for a voluntary transcribed interview to avoid "unnecessary conflict" and "de-escalate Chairman Cummings" orchestrated interbranch confrontation. "Cipollone offered to make Cline available for an interview limited to questions regarding White House personnel security and practices consistent with the panel, which Cummings had previously rejected.

In his letter to Cline, Cummings, however, stressed that the interview would not be limited and that Cline would be expected to answer questions about "specific White House officials and allegations of retaliation against the whistleblower."

"If you answer all of these questions, there would be no need for the committee to pursue contempt against you in the future, "Cummings warned.

This story has been updated.

CNN's Raju Manu contributed to this report.


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