Government watchdog group files complaint to revoke Kushner security clearance

Government watchdog group files complaint to revoke Kushner security clearance
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The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint on Thursday calling on the White House to revoke Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump’s backing may not be enough on criminal justice reform Graham: Trump’s new AG has ‘concerns’ about criminal justice bill Trump throws support behind criminal justice bill MORE’s security clearance.

Kushner, a senior White House adviser and President TrumpDonald John TrumpMia Love pulls ahead in Utah race as judge dismisses her lawsuit Trump administration denies exploring extradition of Erdoğan foe for Turkey Trump congratulates Kemp, says Abrams will have 'terrific political future' MORE’s son-in-law, has been operating on a temporary security clearance for more than a year.

The complaint, addressed to chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, asks that Kushner’s temporary clearance be revoked until he passes the background check and receives full clearance.

“Mr. Kushner’s access to classified information, even on a temporary basis, appears to represent a security threat,” the group wrote in the complaint.

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The complaint notes Kushner’s previous failure to disclose foreign contacts, which he later amended on his security clearance application forms several times, and that he is a focus in the investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. 

“There are serious questions as to the Trump administration’s handling of secure information,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of CREW, said in a release. “Failure to revoke Jared Kushner’s temporary clearance would set a dangerous precedent by signaling a willingness to tolerate unacceptable national security risks.”

The complaint comes at a time when the White House’s security clearance procedures are under scrutiny following the resignation of staff secretary Rob Porter over domestic abuse allegations. Porter had temporary clearance at the time of his resignation, raising questions about when the White House knew about the allegations against him.

Kushner is one of reportedly dozens of White House officials who have been operating with temporary clearances during Trump’s first year in office.