House Democrats call on Mick Mulvaney to "immediately revoke" Jared Kushner's security clearance

The Trump administration's refusal to abide by security clearance processes "seems like a coverup," they said

Published February 1, 2019 10:20AM (EST)

Jared Kushner (Getty/Drew Angerer)
Jared Kushner (Getty/Drew Angerer)

Two House Democrats asked acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday to "immediately revoke" the security clearance of Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump.

"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," Democratic Reps. Don Beyer of Virginia and Ted Lieu of California wrote.

The request comes following an NBC News report last week that Kushner was originally denied a security clearance by two White House security specialists after his FBI background check raised concerns, but the clearance was granted anyway by a Trump appointee who overruled their expert recommendations. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee, launched an investigation into the White House's security clearance process last week.

Beyer and Lieu cited five letters they had sent to the administration over the past two years, in which they had expressed concern about "Kushner's track record of 'omitting' meetings, relationships, and business interests that tie him to foreign officials from his SF-86 clearance application."

The Democratic lawmakers slammed the White House for providing them with "no relevant information" on NBC's reporting that Kushner's overruled rejection was "one of at least 30 cases" approved by that supervisor, Carl Kline, which the news network noted was an "unprecedented" number.

"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," Beyer and Lieu wrote.

In July of 2017, the congressmen also sought clarification about the security clearance issued to the president's daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, who is married to Kushner. "These questions, too, remain unanswered by the Trump administration, even as news reports suggest that special counsel Robert Mueller is asking witnesses about Ivanka Trump's involvement in the Trump Tower Moscow Project," Beyer and Lieu added.

The two called for "swift action" on the matter, contending that the president "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," they said.

By Shira Tarlo

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