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In today's episode of ELECTIONS FUCKING MATTER, Congressional Badass Elijah Cummings is ready to kick the investigation of White House security clearance shenanigans into high gear. Remember Carl Kline, the guy who overruled career staff to give clearances to Jared and Ivanka Kushner Trump, then allegedly retaliated against his employee Tricia Newbold, who has a rare form of dwarfism, by repeatedly rearranging the office to put files literally over her head?

Well, guess who's getting a brand, new subpoena today! Really, we can't think of a more deserving candidate to be hauled before Congress to explain himself on national television. Because Ms. Newbold spent all day Saturday with the Oversight Committee telling them about the 25 times the security evaluators wrote NFW on a clearance application, only to have Kline come behind them and give the applicant a clean bill of health. She told the Oversight Committee:

[I]f we have five disqualifiers listed, it is his responsibility and even my responsibility, as the second level reviewer, if I'm going to overturn my staff, to mitigate all five of them and to properly highlight those, so if the case does make it anywhere else, they're able to see written out in front of them the thought process and the work that went into the adjudicative recommendation.

Indeed, the president can override the security adjudication. But the adjudicators can't just ignore "serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct" on their own -- no, not even if they just want to make Donald Trump really, really happy by saving him the trouble of having to mute the television for five minutes to scribble, "Merry Christmas, Jared. Enjoy the classified intel. Love, Poppy."

Newbold described several specific instances of clearance fuckery, including Senior White House Official 1 -- call him, say, "Kared Jushner" -- who "revealed significant disqualifying factors, including foreign influence, outside activities ('employment outside or businesses external to what your position at the EOP entails'), and personal conduct." Kline gave Jushner a thumbs up anyway, since "the activities occurred prior to Federal service." (Seriously!) And when Jushner applied for a higher level of clearance -- call it "Secured Compartmental Information" -- the second reviewing agency -- call it "the CIA" -- called up Newbold to ask WHO THE HELL gave Jushner the lower level clearance in the first place.

Then there was Senior White House Official 2. Call her, say, "Princess Nepotism." On the same day that "Jushner's" security clearance got jammed through, Newbold told Kline that she was going to turn down the Princess as well.

After learning this information, however, Mr. Kline instructed Ms. Newbold, "do not touch" the case. Soon thereafter, Mr. Kline adjudicated Senior White House Official 2 favorably for a security clearance, according to Ms. Newbold.

Finally, Newbold had recommended denying a clearance to Senior White House Official 3, for "a high-profile official at the National Security Council," Kline asked her to change her adjudication, which she refused. (We're guessing this one is Flynn lackey Robin Townley, who was nixed for a spot on the NSC in February 2017.)

Ms. Newbold also stated that she had concerns that Mr. Kline had been having calls "on a daily basis" with Senior White House Official 3 prior to this determination. Ms. Newbold stated: "I let him know early on that I had concerns with him having those conversations and it could potentially lead him to being biased toward the adjudication."

Totally normal for the evaluator to be kibbitzing on the regular with the subject of a clearance examination! This is all fine, at least according to Jim Jordan, who referred to the Oversight inquiry as "an excuse to go fishing through the personal files of dedicated public servants." Which is fucking rich coming from the guy who forced Rod Rosenstein to disclose classified FISA warrants.

We assume Jordan is similarly cool with Kline suspending Newbold for two weeks without pay because she "failed to follow a new policy created by Mr. Kline in November 2018 to scan documents in separate .pdf files instead of a single .pdf file when sending them to other agencies." And also, "defiance of authority," which is code for refusing to falsify clearance recommendations and forcing her boss to get his hands dirty, allegedly.

But Elijah Cummings is very not cool with this nonsense, and he has had it up to HERE with current White House Counsel Pat Cipollone's refusal to disclose requested documents or make staff available for interviews. Cipollone's insistence that oversight of the clearance prospect is outside the purview of the Oversight Committee is similarly ballsy, as Cummings has already pointed out.

So the congressman is about to break his subpoena pen off in the ass of Covington Catholic's most famous alumnus. His April 1 letter to Cipollone -- exhibit A when this inevitably winds up in before a judge -- reminds the White House Counsel:

In response, the White House has refused to produce a single piece of paper or a single requested witness. Instead, you claim to have "accommodated" the Committee's interests by providing a 90-minute briefing on general policy matters and an in camera review of a handful of guidance documents. You have refused to provide any information about the specific individuals the Committee is investigating, the specific instances of abuse, wrongdoing, or mistakes we have identified, or the problematic practices of the White House Security Office over the past two years.

The Committee has given the White House every possible opportunity to cooperate with this investigation, but you have declined. Your actions are now preventing the Committee from obtaining the information it needs to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities.

So today, the subpoenas start dropping. And Mr. Kline, who now works at the Defense Department, can come on down to Congress and assert executive privilege if he likes. No doubt he'll make a sympathetic witness. Judges looooove political appointees who retaliate against career employees for ... screwing up a .pdf attachment. And rearranging the office to make files inaccessible to Tricia Newbold is pretty fucking ghoulish.

LOTSA LUCK, CARL.

[Oversight Memo / Cummings Letter Cipollone]

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You guys, hi, hello, it is almost the holiday weekend, so we are going to share you a real video posted last night by "Doctor" Sebastian "Don't Call Me A Nazi" Gorka, that hilarious old knucklecuck. We guess now that he had to give up (or gave up voluntarily!) his Fox News contract, he just makes videos for the Twitter. Hoo ... ray?

Anyway, Gorka is super-excited that Donald Trump issued that order last night, giving Bill Barr all kinds of new powers to expose the Deep State for what it is and PROVE once and for all that the gremlins who live inside Trump's diarrhea are correct when they say Hillary ordered the Deep State to do an illegal witch hunt to Trump, yadda yadda yadda, you've seen these people huff paint before, we don't have to type it all.

Here is the video, after which Wonkette will either transcribe it OR we will provide our own dramatic interpretation. Which one will it be? We don't know! Would you be able to tell the difference between the two? We don't know!

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

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And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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