Maloney seeks House probe over former Trump aide

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney has asked a House panel to investigate the White House’s handling of an aide who quit this week following news reports that he had been accused of beating his two former wives and that the administration knew of those allegations throughout his tenure.

Maloney, a Cold Spring Democrat, worked in the White House under President Bill Clinton for four years and held the same position as Rob Porter, the staff secretary who resigned this week. In a letter on Wednesday to Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Maloney questioned how someone who had been denied a permanent security clearance because of abuse allegations against him, and who was susceptible to blackmail, had been allowed to handle top-secret materials.

“As a former White House Staff Secretary, I am acutely aware of the unique responsibilities the position demands,” Maloney wrote. “I have serious questions about the decision to allow Mr. Porter to retain his job for over a year as well as the process of extending to him any level of interim security clearance. Mr. Porter’s history made him a primary target for blackmail while serving in the role. Allowing him to handle sensitive national security documents without conducting a background check is cause for bipartisan concern.”

Maloney said in a press release announcing his letter to Gowdy that he was sickened by Porter’s actions and shocked that he had been allowed to work in the White House for a year.

“It’s unclear what kind of vetting process was followed in this case, and the Oversight Committee needs to open an investigation into this situation immediately,” Maloney said. “It seems clear that Chief of Staff John Kelly had knowledge of these disqualifying issues and nevertheless allowed Porter to handle top secret materials without a proper clearance.

“I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Porter and sought his help on behalf of my constituents on more than one occasion. He was responsive and professional. But I am deeply troubled.”

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    Chris McKenna

    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full
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