Cummings Seeks Documents on White House Contractor with Arrest Warrant for Attempted First Degree Murder

Jun 7, 2018
Press Release

Cummings Seeks Documents on

White House Contractor with Arrest Warrant for

Attempted First Degree Murder


Washington, D.C. (June 7, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote a letter to White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly requesting documents relating to reports that a White House contractor with an outstanding arrest warrant for attempted first-degree murder, who had previously faced assault and domestic violence allegations, was able to maintain a security clearance, was cleared for entry onto the White House complex, and was allowed to work for the National Security Council until he was arrested at a Secret Service checkpoint on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

“These reports raise grave questions about how an individual facing charges of attempted murder could have continued working at the White House for nearly three weeks,” Cummings wrote.  “These reports also raise troubling concerns about how this individual could have been granted a security clearance in the first place given his problematic record involving allegations of serious domestic violence, and about what information he had access to while working at the National Security Council.”

On June 5, 2018, National Security Council contractor Martese Edwards was arrested at a White House security checkpoint as he reported for work.  On May 3, 2018, Edwards allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend, who remains in critical condition.  A warrant for Edwards’ arrest reportedly was issued May 17, 2018.

Edwards reportedly started in December 2017, working as an “admin guy” for the National Security Council, and he had at least two prior encounters with the law at that time. 

“This is not the first time the White House has faced questions about flaws in vetting officials with a record of serious domestic abuse allegations,” Cummings wrote.  “For example, on April 13, 2018, the FBI confirmed to our Committee that it provided the White House with five different updates with derogatory information about former White House Staff Secretary Robert Porter—as far back as March 2017.  Yet, the White House chose to ignore this information and continue granting Mr. Porter access to our nation’s most highly classified secrets.  To date, the White House has refused to provide documents we have requested about the security clearance adjudications of Mr. Porter and other White House officials.”

The Ranking Member requested documents relating to Edwards’ clearance to access the White House complex; any vetting or searches done on Edwards; documents reflecting what National Security Council information Edwards had access to or reviewed; any information regarding the White House’s knowledge of allegations of domestic abuse made against Edwards or other members of the White House staff; and any documents and communications referring or relating to his outstanding arrest warrant.

Click here to read today’s letter. 

115th Congress