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 KushnerTrump unleashed: President moves with a free hand post-impeachment The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Trump's former personal assistant to oversee White House personnel office MORE, who's also President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE's son-in-law, is still using a temporary clearance.

In a letter Tuesday, Reps. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonSenior black Democrats urge party chairman to take responsibility for Iowa Booker, Merkley propose federal facial recognition moratorium Hillicon Valley: Judge approves T-Mobile, Sprint merger | FTC to review past Big Tech deals | State officials ask for more cybersecurity help | House nears draft bill on self-driving cars MORE (D-Miss.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsHouse to vote next week on bill to create women's history museum The Hill's Morning Report - Icy moments between Trump, Pelosi mark national address Baltimore unveils plaques for courthouse to be named after Elijah Cummings 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.


“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 PelosiPelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' Short defends Trump's tweets as a 'very effective way' to communicate with Americans Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (Calif.) have been calling for Kushner's clearance to be revoked since last July.