Well, this could certainly screw up plans for the family holiday dinner.
As we’ve seen unfolding, with Democrats now at the helm of the House, they intend to give the Trump family political grift a thorough – often uncomfortable – going over.
C’mon. You knew there would be a price to pay for Republican representatives acting like Trump’s personal guard dogs for two years. With politics, the possibility of the reins of power changing hands is always just an election away.
And it’s not as if Donald Trump doesn’t give the Democrats truckloads of material to work with.
A recent report detailed how the president, once again pushing against the advice of intelligence officials, as well as White House legal counsel, ordered his then-chief of staff, John Kelly, to give top secret security clearance to his senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The situation so concerned Kelly, as well as White House counsel Don McGahn, that both of the men wrote internal memos detailing their concerns about acting against the warnings of the CIA and other intelligence officials.
For the sake of nepotism, our national security could have been put at risk.
With that in mind, Democratic Representatives Don Beyer, of Virginia, and California’s Ted Lieu have decided that there should be a criminal investigation into Kushner’s security clearance, and just why the president pushed to get his favored child’s spouse clearance he was not due.
“We are deeply disturbed by recent reports that President Trump ordered his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, to grant Jared Kushner a security clearance, overruling intelligence officials who raised concerns about the clear national security risks of doing so,” the two lawmakers wrote in a Monday letter to Attorney General William Barr that was made public on Tuesday.
“Taken together with previous reports that Mr. Kushner omitted contacts with more than one hundred foreign persons on his clearance forms – including the Russian Ambassador – we request that the Department of Justice open an immediate investigation to determine if Mr. Kushner is criminally liable for his false statements,” Lieu and Beyer added.
Such is the case with Kushner.
It’s not just the conversations between Kushner and the Russian ambassador – where reports are he suggested setting up a secure back channel of communication with the Russians, using Russian facilities – but also, his family’s financial difficulties.
The Kushner family business was struggling, seeking foreign loans to keep afloat. Officials felt Kushner’s financial troubles made him ripe for bribery.
There are even intercepted recordings of phone conversations between foreign officials, discussing how Kushner’s financial situation made him vulnerable.
For Trump, however, this is the man he’s entrusted with running the bulk of the presidency. He’s tasked him with everything from solving the opioid crisis to bringing peace to the Middle East.
Lawmakers have recently called on White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to revoke Kushner’s security clearance.
House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) recently threatened to subpoena the White House for security clearance-related documents, including interview with witnesses, that the panel demanded in January. Monday was the deadline to fulfill a request for documents and transcribed interviews from the White House personnel security office.
Kushner is a problem, and he’s been a problem from day one.
Unfortunately, he’s the kind of problem that this president seems to wallow in, as we’ve seen so many times before, in the last several years.
When confronted with the issue of his son-in-law’s security clearance earlier, Trump denied involvement.
“I know that there was issues back and forth about security for numerous people, actually. But I don’t want to get involved in that stuff,” Trump told The New York Times in January.
If these new reports are accurate, we know, once again, the president has lied.