House Oversight Dems To WH: Why Does Kushner Still Have Security Clearance?

File - In this Monday, June 19, 2017 file photo, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks at a White House meeting in Washington. President Donald Trump's son in law and chief Mideast adviser, Jared Kushner, i... File - In this Monday, June 19, 2017 file photo, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks at a White House meeting in Washington. President Donald Trump's son in law and chief Mideast adviser, Jared Kushner, is headed to Jerusalem for his first working visit in hopes of laying the ground work for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. T(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) MORE LESS
|
June 21, 2017 4:22 p.m.

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee asked White House chief of staff Reince Priebus Wednesday to produce documents explaining why senior adviser Jared Kushner’s security clearance hasn’t been revoked amid reports he’s under investigation for failure to disclose multiple meetings with Russian officials.

In a letter sent to Priebus, House Democrats outlined several instances in which Kushner either failed to disclose meetings or failed to correct public record after White House officials repeatedly denied communication between President Donald Trump’s team and Russia.

For example, on Jan. 13, when White House press secretary Sean Spicer shared a timeline of interactions between former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, but failed to share information about an in-person meeting between Kislyak, Flynn and Kushner at Trump Tower in December.

“We do not know who at the White House — other than General Flynn — knew about Mr. Kushner’s multiple contacts with Russian officials before they became public. It would be gravely concerning if Mr. Spicer, Ms. (Hope) Hicks, Ms. (Sarah Huckabee) Sanders or President Trump were aware of Mr. Kushner’s Russian contacts when they made their misleading statements. It would also be concerning if Mr. Kushner concealed his Russian contacts from them and allowed them to continue making misleading and inaccurate public statements while also omitting  these contacts from his security clearance application,” the letter, signed by 18 House Democrats, said.

“In any case, it is unclear why Mr. Kushner continues to have access to classified information while these allegations are being investigated,” they added.

Members defended their request by citing Executive Order 12968, which directs government officials to suspend the security clearance of an employee who has credible allegations against them, at least while an investigation into those allegations is taking place.

“Security clearances are suspended at the beginning of this process rather than at the end because the presumption under the Executive Order is always to protect against threats to national security,” the letter said.

In addition to documents on Kushner, committee members asked for information about the security clearances of Flynn, who was allowed to stay in his position for 18 days after the White House was warned about Flynn’s actions, by July 5, 2017.

Introducing
The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30