Beyer, Lieu seek revocation of Jared Kushner’s security clearance
Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) today wrote to White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney seeking the immediate revocation of Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner’s security clearance.
The letter followed an NBC report that career White House security professionals initially rejected Kushner’s clearance application before being overruled by a “quasi-political supervisor.”
“We urge you to immediately revoke the security clearance of Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner, and to comply with past and future oversight requests from Congress related to security clearances, information security, and other matters of national security.
“On January 24, 2019, a report from NBC revealed that ‘Jared Kushner’s application for a top-secret clearance was rejected by two career White House security specialists after an FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him — but their supervisor overruled the recommendation and approved the clearance.’ That story goes on to note that ‘Kushner’s FBI background check identified questions about his family’s business, his foreign contacts, his foreign travel and meetings he had during the campaign.’ This is the very issue we warned about in April 2017, before the events described in this report transpired.
“The White House’s pattern of hiding the truth and devious behavior with regard to Mr. Kushner’s security clearance suggests that the Administration does not take information security seriously. This problem is underscored by NBC’s reporting that ‘Kushner’s was one of at least 30 cases in which Kline overruled career security experts and approved a top-secret clearance for incoming Trump officials despite unfavorable information.’
“Members of Congress are now placed in the impossible position of wondering who these 30 officials are that received clearances despite being rejected by the career security officials, what the ‘unfavorable information’ was in their records, and why they still have ongoing access to sensitive national security information.
“In July 2017, we also asked a series of questions regarding the status of White House Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump’s security clearance. These questions, too, remain unanswered by the Trump Administration, even as new reports suggest that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is asking witnesses about Ivanka Trump’s involvement in the Trump Tower Moscow project.
“The President of the United States has a responsibility to the people who put him in office that should outweigh his personal business and familial interests. The ongoing refusal of the Administration to abide by longstanding security clearance processes, coupled with its unwillingness to explain its actions to Members of Congress, increasingly seems like a coverup.”
Beyer and Lieu cited their previous letters raising numerous concerns with Kushner’s SF-86, and with the status of Kushner’s fellow Senior White House Adviser Ivanka Trump. The NBC report noted that there as many as 30 other cases in which career security officials recommended a clearance be denied to an incoming Trump appointee before being overruled by their supervisor.