President Donald Trump's counterterrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka — previously been under fire for his lack of expertise on Islam and his work with anti-Semitic activists in Hungary — is now reported to be a member of Vitézi Rend, a Hungarian far-right organization that sympathizes with Nazi goals.
Gorka swore a lifetime oath of loyalty to Vitézi Rend, group leaders told The Forward. Founded by Admiral Miklos Horthy — who governed Hungary from 1920 to 1944, imposed a number of anti-Semitic laws during that time and worked with the Nazis — Vitézi Rend was banned in Hungary until the fall of Communism in 1989. Today there are two groups that claim to be its successors, with Gorka belonging to the "Historical Vitézi Rend" that openly embraces Horthy's original beliefs.
In addition to casting suspicion on Gorka's ideological beliefs, his membership in Vitézi Rend if true could also jeopardize his immigration status. The State Department explicitly states that Vitézi Rend members "are presumed to be inadmissible" to the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act. If Gorka did not mention on his immigration forms that he is a member of the group, it would be considered a "failure to disclose a material fact," as Bruce Einhorn, a retired immigration judge, told The Forward.
"It’s a material fact that, if disclosed, would have provoked a significant inquiry into the specific post-war role of this organization and Gorka’s activities in it," Einhorn said. He added that there is no statute of limitation for this type of violation.