Politico: House Democrats: Revoke Kushner’s security clearance
More than 40 House Democrats are urging the White House to revoke Jared Kushner's security clearance "to protect national security" until the FBI resolves its investigation of potential collusion between associates of President Donald Trump and agents of the Russian government.
The lawmakers expressed concern over recent reports about Kushner's secretive meeting with Russia's ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, including that Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, sought a back channel to the Kremlin that would rely on Russian facilities to avoid detection by U.S. officials
"While the various congressional and law enforcement investigations continue, the White House should take all possible steps to protect national security including immediately revoking Mr. Kushner's security clearance," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to White House Counsel Don McGahn.
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who spearheaded the letter, raised similar concerns in April, when reports indicated Kushner had omitted the Kislyak meeting from his application for a security clearance.
"Multiple reports now say that he discussed opening a secret line of communications that could be monitored by Russian intelligence but not American intelligence, which would be disqualifying," Beyer said in a statement to POLITICO. "Jared Kushner cannot be trusted.”
It's a sharp escalation from Democrats aimed at Kushner. When Beyer initially raised his concerns in April, just four Democrats joined his call, and they noted that Kushner's failure to detail his meetings with foreign officials could amount to a felony. This time, at least 41 had signed on by Wednesday evening, and more were expected to add their names by Thursday.
The signers include House Armed Services Committee ranking member Adam Smith of Washington and Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, as well as the five signatories on the April letter: Beyer, Ted Lieu of California, Jerry Nadler of New York, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Peter Welch of Vermont.
The Trump administration has largely defended Kushner, with top officials emphasizing that back channels are a routine part of diplomacy. But Democrats note the meetings came after intelligence agencies issued an assessment that Russia had actively interfered in the 2016 presidential election and after the Obama administration had levied sanctions in retaliation.