Weeks after the House Oversight Committee fired off a subpoena to the former White House chief of security, committee chairman Elijah Cummings on Tuesday said he would move to hold that official -- Carl Kline -- in contempt of Congress.
This after Kline failed to appear before the committee Tuesday to answer allegations the White House had issued scores of improper security clearances to members of President Donald Trump's staff.
The White House informed the panel Kline would DEFY the subpoena.
In a statement, Cummings said, "The American people want transparency and accountability from this administration, but we can't provide that if we don't have the information we need." The oversight panel has been investigating security at the White House after a whistleblower said certain Trump advisers had been granted top secret clearance over the strong objections of career officials, reportedly at Trump's insistence.
Among those given clearances: Trump's daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose sensitive assignments include Trump's efforts to craft a Mideast peace plan.
Cummings says he'll consult with his committee to schedule a vote on the contempt charge, a serious offense that can carry jail time.
Tuesday's move escalates the recent tension between the White House and Congress and comes a day after Trump filed a lawsuit to block another subpoena from Cummings, who is also seeking access to the financial records of Trump's real estate empire.