Background Check Official Says He’s ‘Never Seen’ Mistakes Like Kushner’s

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The official who oversees background checks for most of the federal government told Congress on Wednesday that he has never seen as many mistakes on a background check form as Jared Kushner has made.

Charles Phelan, the director of the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB), oversees background checks for most of the federal government but did not handle President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser’s security clearance application.

During a Wednesday House Oversight subcommittee hearing, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) noted that Kushner had to submit an addendum to his SF-86 security clearance form four times after omitting contacts with foreign officials.

“Can you recall if there has ever been an applicant having to submit four addenda detailing over 100 errors and omissions being able to maintain their security clearance once those errors and omission have been identified?” Krishnamoorthi asked Phelan.

“I have not seen the breadth of all the applications, but I have never seen that level of mistakes,” Phelan replied.

Phelan added that the NBIB had not handled Kushner’s security clearance.

“I don’t know in the particular cases you’re talking about because we had no visibility in our organization into any of those activities. Those were done by other organizations,” he said.

Earlier in the hearing, Phelan also noted that the online form for security clearances is built in such a way that it’s easy for applicants to make mistakes.

In a statement Thursday, Jamie Gorelick, Kushner’s attorney, reiterated that his form “was prematurely submitted and, among other errors, did not list any contacts with foreign government officials,” and that it had been quickly updated.

H/t CNN

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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