House Democrats call for revoking Kushner's security clearance

A group of House Democrats have urged in a letter on Friday that the security clearance to Jared Kushner, a top adviser to United States president Donald Trump, be suspended pending a federal investigation into various Trump administration members' possible contacts with Russian Federation that went undisclosed, reported The Hill.

The Times report said Kushner omitted dozens of contacts with foreign leaders from his application, including with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Sergey Gorkov, a prominent Russian banker.

Kushner's lawyer told the Times that the omissions were an error because the questionnaire detailing all encounters with foreign government officials over the last seven years was submitted prematurely.

According to the publication, it was taken on Monday a few hours before the Seder dinner marking the start of Passover - despite a tweet Trump posted the same afternoon showing her with husband Jared Kushner and their children in the White House.

"We are gravely concerned about the larger context within which this omission occurred", the representatives said in a joint statement. It will require experimenting with new ideas, building evidence about what works, and using evidence to inform policy decisions.

Reps. Don Beyer (VA), Ted Lieu (CA), Jamie Raskin (MD), Jerrold Nadler (NY), and Peter Welch (VA) sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey and Charles Phalen, Director of the National Background Investigations Bureau. Raskin, whose Maryland district includes Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Silver Spring noted that Trump's former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was sacked for not disclosing his previous contacts with high-level Russian officials.

"Lack of candor, particularly regarding contacts was a significant issue for the Trump transition". In addition, Federal agencies generally fire, do not grant a security clearance, or disqualify individuals who have materially and deliberately falsified these forms, and this remains a part of the permanent record for future placements.

Sessions spoke with Kislyak twice a year ago as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, while Flynn had a conversation with the ambassador during the transition period.

"We are concerned that Jared Kushner may have engaged in similar deception", the lawmakers wrote in their letter. It is, they noted, a felony to intentionally hide such meetings on a national security form.

  • Larry Hoffman