Mick Mulvaney

White House instructs ex-security clearance official not to testify

White House acting chief of staff John Mulvaney instructed a former White House official Carl Kline not to testify before the committee on security clearance practices.
White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney instructed a former security clearance official not to testify before the House Oversight Committee, according to letters sent to panel chairman Elijah Cummings Monday, and first obtained by ABC News.

The big picture: Former White House Personnel Security Director Carl Kline was to testify before the committee Tuesday, after the panel voted to subpoena him in its White House security clearance investigation.

The corruption of laissez-faire capitalism

Illustration of money being handed over
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Laissez-faire capitalism works very well in theory. The government sets clearly-defined rules, within which corporations compete for profits. Companies win by providing the best products at the lowest price; investors win by allocating scarce capital where it can be put to best use; the country as a whole reaps the benefit.

In an age of corruption anxiety, however, laissez-faire often means that companies themselves get to set the rules.