House panel rejects push to revoke Kushner’s security clearance


The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday rejected two amendments to a key spending bill intended to revoke the security clearance of President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

One of the amendments to the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill, introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), would bar funds from being used “to issue, renew, or maintain a security clearance for any individual in a position in the Executive Office of the President who is under a criminal investigation by a Federal law enforcement agency for aiding a foreign government.” The amendment failed in a 22-30 vote.

The second amendment was aimed at revoking the security clearance of White House staffers who deliberately fail to disclose meetings with foreign nationals or governments on their questionnaire for national security positions. The committee also rejected the amendment 22-30.

Wasserman Schultz argued that the amendments were necessary for safeguarding the country’s most sensitive national security information.

But Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) called the amendments a “political stunt” and that security clearance decisions should be left to security professionals.

“The use of funding prohibitions to deny or remove security clearances is just simply a political stunt and unnecessary, because security clearances can already be denied or revoked because criminal conduct,” he said.  

Federal investigators are examining Kushner’s finances and business dealings as part of their probe into Russia’s role in the 2016 election and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

The president’s son-in-law has also come under renewed scrutiny in recent days for attending a meeting last summer with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, after his brother-in-law and President Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. was promised compromising information about Hillary Clinton.

That meeting was not disclosed on Kushner’s security clearance application, but was later included in a supplemental form.

Several Democrats have called for the top Trump aide’s security clearance to be revoked or suspended in the wake of the revelation that he had attended the Russian lawyer meeting with Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Kushner came under fire earlier this year after it was reported that he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and the CEO of a Russian state-run bank during the presidential transition.

– This story was updated at 12:42 p.m.

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