Cummings Requests Security Clearance Info on Denied Application for Top Aide to Flynn

Mar 6, 2018
Press Release

Cummings Requests Security Clearance Info on  

Denied Application for Top Aide to Flynn


Flynn and Advisor Left White House Within Days of Each Other


Washington, D.C. (Mar. 6, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly requesting information on the decision to reject an application for access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) for Robin Townley, a Senior Director on the National Security Council who served as one of the closest deputies to then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, as well as on the decision for both Flynn and Townley to leave the White House within days of each other.

“For more than a year, I have repeatedly raised concerns about the security clearance process at the White House, but you have declined to respond to any of my previous requests,” Cummings wrote.  “In this case, a number of critical questions are raised by the denial of Mr. Townley’s SCI application.”

Politico reported that Townley was informed on February 10, 2017, that “the Central Intelligence Agency had rejected his request for an elite security clearance required for service on the NSC” and that “the rejection was approved by Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s CIA director, and that it infuriated Flynn and his allies.” 

Flynn was ousted from his position three days later.

Cummings raised a number of questions in his letter today, including:

  • why Townley’s application for access to SCI was denied, particularly since he is a former Marine intelligence officer who reportedly held a Top Secret security clearance;

  • what, if anything, his denial had to do with his relationship with Flynn, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials;

  • whether Townley was given interim access to SCI information before his application was denied, whether he was given access to classified information he should not have been given access to, and if so, what that information was; and

  • whether Townley continues to hold a Top Secret clearance today or whether the White House suspended or revoked his access to all classified information as a result of derogatory information that barred him from obtaining access to SCI information.

Cummings requested that Kelly produce documents and communications by March 20, 2018, regarding the denial of Townley’s security clearance and his removal from the White House. 

Click here to read today’s letter.

115th Congress