Democrats Press in on Jared Kushner’s Questionable Security Clearance

Democrats Press in on Jared Kushner’s Questionable Security Clearance March 5, 2019

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.

To be clear, as president, Trump has the authority to make those demands. That being said, most presidents have been wise enough to heed the advice of intelligence officials and these matters, realizing there’s a reason someone may not qualify for top security clearance. When red flags go up, they have a tendency to resurface at some point down the road.

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.

 

 

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  • Polarbearpapa

    This bears repeating about the nature of Trump…

    44 You come from your father, the devil, and you desire to do what your
    father wants you to do. The devil was a murderer from the beginning. He
    has never been truthful. He doesn’t know what the truth is. Whenever he
    tells a lie, he’s doing what comes naturally to him. He’s a liar and the
    father of lies.

    John 8

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I see from later reporting in the Washington Examiner that Ivanka ALSO got her security clearance as a result of Trump’s direct involvement and instructions to John Kelly. Like he has done and continues to do with Jared, Trump is also lying about ordering the WH staff to give Ivanka a TS clearance without proper vetting and against the advice of his security office, claiming that he was never involved. (I hope John Kelly is writing his book about his time in the WH. It could easily be a best-seller as he no doubt bore the brunt of much of Trump’s insanity as was instrumental in either blunting the worst of it or covering it up.)

    Unlike Kushner, Ivanka’s clearance was not directly opposed by the WH Office of Personnel or by the Intelligence Community as a security risk. Her TS clearance was questioned on the basis of nepotism and of need as well as the potential (and in some circles the belief) that should would abuse her clearance for purposes of self-enrichment rather than for the good of the nation.

    As we have all seen by now, it appears the primary reason Trump wanted her to have a clearance is so he could keep his “favorite daughter” close to him and get her advice on what he should do in political situations. As we’ve also seen, that has not worked out particularly well as her own lust for power and fame has backfired on her own businesses, losing her the goodwill and willingness of several stores to carry her merchandise as well as raising several questions about her involvement in top-secret, high-level government meetings where she took the opportunities presented to push her own business interests to increase her own personal fortune.

    It was also reported (first reported by the NY Times if memory serves), that Ivanka joins her husband Kushner in being investigated for abuse of privilege and possible mis-use of her access to state secrets with possible national-security violations intended to personally enrich herself.

    Besides Ivanka and Jared, how many other unvetted people has Trump demanded be given access to our national security secrets. With the entire Trump family in frequent contact with high-level Russian state actors and mob bosses as well as high-level actors of other international anti-US dcitators and strongmen, how many of our national security secrets actually remain protected and how many have the Trump turned over to the Russians, the Chinese, The North Koreans, the Saudis – even the Iranians – in exchange for financial or other “favors” (like hotel/casino deals or property rights) ?

  • chemical

    Agreed. I had a secret clearance, which has since expired because I no longer serve in the military. The thing is about security clearances is that they’re not very easy to get and the government will revoke them over pretty minor things. They are hard earned, and easily lost. I’ve seen people lose them over wasting too much money on slot machines (gamble yourself into debt, and you’re easy to bribe).

    So, why rules for me, but not for the Trumps? Guess I’m just one of the little people.

  • JASmius

    Remember Gary Aldrich’s book Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside The Clinton White House? This story could have been plucked right from its pages, or been added as an epilogue of bipartisan echoes to come.

  • captcrisis

    Citation needed. How was the Clinton White House the same as (or worse than) this?

    Was it when Rush Limbaugh went on his national TV show with a picture of Chelsea Clinton (then 12 years old) and called her a “dog”? And no Republican had a problem with it?

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I think I remember the book you’re referring to. At least I remember something about a book published by (I thought) one of Clinton’s secret service agents describing how she and Bill had such disdain for their Marine guards and treated both the SS & Marines like dirt or like slaves/servants.

    I think we would definitely all benefit if you could provide some more details on what was covered in the book that you find particularly applicable to this situation. (Not that I doubt the Clintons were every bit as prone to nepotism and security violations as the Trump family is….)

    I don’t remember that there were nearly as many tell-all books published on the Clintons as on Trump, but I suspect that’s just because the practice of publishing books on political dirt AFTER THE FACT was only beginning with the Clintons and has grown to a routine since…..

  • Ronald Langdon

    Dont you guys get it . President Trump is not controlled by the medias opinions as were previous Presidents who were rule by the corrupt main steam media who stated that Hilary Clinton had a 95 percent chance of winning the 2016 election. Trump is a President of the people and for the people who cannot be bought of by the opinions of a lying media conglomaration. Your all chasing fantasies and conspiracies. What he did was perfectly legal!!! It time for Susan to grow up and be an objective,unbiased writer without an agenda.

  • toni

    Look in the mirror for the agenda, brother.