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House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings agreed in a letter to former White House personnel security director Carl Kline Saturday to a transcribed interview with him, holding off on a contempt threat.

"I am confident that the Committee could move forward with contempt against you immediately, particularly since your defiance of the Committee's subpoena was so flagrant. However, I have always endeavored to be as fair as possible in the pursuit of truth, particularly with witnesses who are willing to come before the Committee."

The backdrop: White House whistleblower Tricia Newbold told the committee the Trump administration reversed 25 denials for security clearance applications. The White House instructed Kline not to testify on the issue, as scheduled in a subpoena. It said Friday it would allow him to give testimony on May 1, limited to policies and practices.

What's new: Kline's attorneys can now attend the scheduled interview. In his letter to Kline, Cummings said Kline would be expected to answer all questions about "specific White House officials and allegations of retaliation against the whistleblower."

"If you answer all of these questions, there would be no need for the Committee to pursue contempt against you in the future."

Go deeper

AP: Justice Dept. rescinds "zero tolerance" policy

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the US-Mexico border wall at Friendship Park in San Ysidro, California in Nov. 2018. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo on Tuesday to revoke the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, AP first reported.

Driving the news: A recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz emphasized the internal chaos at the agency over the implementation of the policy, which resulted in 545 parents separated from their children as of October 2020.

Biden picks up his pen to change the tone on racial equity

Vice President Harris looks on as President Biden signs executives orders related to his racial equity agenda. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden is making a down payment on racial equity in a series of executive orders dealing with everything from private prisons to housing discrimination, treatment of Asian Americans and relations with indigenous tribes.

The big picture: Police reform and voting rights legislation will take time to pass in Congress. But with the stroke of his pen, one week into the job Biden is taking steps within his power as he seeks to change the tone on racial justice from former President Trump.

Most Senate Republicans join Rand Paul effort to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported an effort to dismiss former President Trump's second impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The vote serves as a precursor to how senators will approach next month's impeachment trial, making it highly unlikely the Senate will vote to convict. The House impeached Trump for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" following events from Jan 6. when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.