Kevin McAleenan has told the House Homeland Security Committee that he will not testify in an upcoming hearing, despite a subpoena. McAleenan resigned as Homeland Security secretary earlier this month.
McAleenan said in a letter sent to Chairman Bennie Thompson he was "disappointed, and extremely surprised" that he was subpoenaed, "given the productive working relationship" he and Thompson have had in the past.
On Thursday, the committee chairman issued subpoenas to both McAleenan and acting National Counterterrorism Center Director Russell Travers for a public hearing on Oct. 30 focused on "terrorist threats facing the country."
McAleenan is set to leave his post as Homeland Security secretary at the end of the month. Because of that, McAleenan says he can't testify at the hearing because he needs to spend his last week "ensuring an effective transition in the leadership of the Department" as opposed to "exhaustively" preparing for the hearing.
In the letter, McAleenan also said the subpoena violated committee rules by not giving the committee's ranking member prior notice that the subpoena would be issued. Thompson disagreed and said the committee didn't break any rules — "It seems he just doesn't want to testify. But it should be no surprise that a Trump Administration official would deliberately mislead the American public."
As of Saturday, McAleenan was still listed as a witness for the Oct. 30 hearing.