Dems want answers on White House security clearance process

Dems want answers on White House security clearance process
© Getty Images

Ranking Democrats on three powerful House committees are demanding more information about how the Trump administration handles security clearances amid news that senior White house adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan House panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks Trump records MORE, who's also President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE's son-in-law, is still using a temporary clearance.

In a letter Tuesday, Reps. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonJan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Overnight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Jan. 6 panel says it is reviewing Milley actions MORE (D-Miss.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsFormer GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik suing Candace Owens for defamation Former Cummings staffer unveils congressional bid McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (D-Md.), who sit on the Homeland Security, Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform committees, respectively, pressed the Trump administration for information on how the Trump White House handles the security clearance process for its staff.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are writing to obtain information related to the White House’s interim security clearance process. According to press reports, a year after becoming a White House advisor, Jared Kushner still has access to our most critical national security information pursuant to an interim security clearance," write the three Democrats.

“Mr. Kushner’s case raises serious questions about whether his situation is an isolated one among White House senior staff. It also raises concerns about the clearance adjudication process for White House staff generally," they continue.

"It is unprecedented for fourteen individuals to have access to the highly classified President’s Daily Briefing, let alone a single individual who is unable to obtain security clearance all together.”

The letter goes on to request information from the White House on how many other Trump administration staffers are using temporary clearances.

Kushner is still using a temporary security clearance, according to multiple reports, despite joining the Trump administration last January. Part of the holdup could stem from the top Trump aide's reported failure to disclose multiple contacts with foreign officials on his security filings upon joining the White House.

In November, the White House called Kushner's situation "completely normal" and cited a backlog of requests for security clearances as a reason for the holdup.

Democrats including House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (Calif.) have been calling for Kushner's clearance to be revoked since last July.