Democrats move to revoke Jared Kushner's security clearance

New bill would authorize FBI Director to revoke Jared Kushner's security clearance

Published July 28, 2017 3:57PM (EDT)

Jared Kushner   (AP/Susan Walsh)
Jared Kushner (AP/Susan Walsh)

If Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia and 20 of his fellow Democrats have their way, the Director of the FBI will have the authority to revoke the security clearance of executive branch employees whose actions may pose a threat to national security.

Employees like, say, President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

"I hope my Republican colleagues in the House come to recognize sooner rather than later that Trump’s reliance on unqualified family members and campaign sycophants is not just irresponsible, it is dangerous," said Rep. Beyer in an email to Salon. "The GOP claims to be the party of national security. But by allowing Jared Kushner to continue to hold his clearance, they are demonstrating once again that they care more about personal loyalty to the President than keeping Americans safe."

The bill, known as the Security Clearance Review Act, is not the first legislative attempt by Beyer to address the possible security issues raised by Trump's appointment of family members to positions of power in his administration. When it came out in April that Kushner had failed to disclose numerous interactions with foreign contacts in a security clearance questionnaire, Beyer wrote a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey that asked for Kushner's security clearance to be suspended.

One month later, more than 40 Democrats joined Beyer in insisting that the White House revoke Kushner's clearance until the investigation into potential collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russian government could be resolved.

The Security Clearance Review Act was introduced by both Beyer and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary. Its cosponsors include Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania, Pramila Jaypal of Washington, Hank Johnson of Georgia, Ted Lieu of California, Zoe Lofgren of California, Betty McCollum of Minnesota, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Grace Napolitano of California, Donald Payne Jr. of New Jersey, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Kathleen Rice of New York, Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire, Norma Torres of California, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Peter Welch of Vermont.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He specializes in covering science and history, and is particularly passionate about climate change, animal science, disability rights, plastic pollution and a wide range of political issues. He has interviewed many prominent figures (reflecting his diverse interests) including President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), actress Cady McClain ("All My Children"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin (2002-present), comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2") and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Don Beyer Donald Trump House Democrats Jared Kushner John Conyers Partner Video Russia Security Clearance