Chaffetz launches probe into Mar-a-Lago security incident
- Author: Larry Hoffman Feb 16, 2017,
Feb 16, 2017, 1:59
The committee is asking that the White House provide the following information.
While Chaffetz has been criticized by Democrats and some constituents for not looking more closely at the Trump administration, Tuesday saw a new push by the Utah Republican to review actions by the White House.
"It was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that North Korea had launched a missile in the direction of Japan", wrote Richard DeAgazio, one member of the club, on Facebook.
For now, Chaffetz says he will focus his attention on other controversies surrounding the Trump administration, such as the president's lease of the Old Post Office from a federal agency; Kellyanne Conway's comments promoting Ivanka Trump's business interests; and whether the president held sensitive discussions of a North Korean missile test in public.
Some guests at the club that night posted photos on social media showing the two leaders being briefed while aides stood in the background, using cellphones to shine light on documents.
"Unlike the Committee, OGE can not issue subpoenas, question witnesses, compel the production of documents or take action against individuals who refuse to cooperate", OGE Director Walter Shaub wrote to Chaffetz and the Oversight Committee's top Democrat, Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
The leaders were at a terrace restaurant that was in full view - and earshot - of Mar-a-Lago members.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said no classified information was present in the Mar-a-Lago dining room, as the President was briefed in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) both before and after the dinner. Nevertheless, discussions with foreign leaders regarding worldwide missile tests, and documents used to support those discussions, are presumptively sensitive.
The timing of the announcement may have been strategic, coming just hours after Chaffetz told reporters that his committee saw no need to investigate ties between Russian Federation and Michael Flynn, the former White House National Security Adviser.
In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Chaffetz asks for answers on security protocols at Trump's property.
The committee chairman presented a list of requests for information required for the investigation.