Vogue: Why Democrats Are Calling for Ivanka Trump to Lose Her Security Clearance—And What That Means for Her Political Future
In light of a recent report detailing how Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. may have narrowly avoided indictment on felony fraud charges in 2012 (just before President Trump’s personal lawyer made a sizable campaign donation to Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr.), two House Democrats are calling for Ivanka, an adviser to President Trump, to lose her White House security clearance. Reps. Don Beyer of Virginia and Ted Lieu of California are also calling for her husband Jared Kushner’s clearance to be revoked. (Kushner, who also serves as an adviser to the president, had his security clearance first called into question earlier this year, after reports that he had tried to set up a “back-channel” for communications between Moscow and Trump’s transition team following the election; the scrutiny intensified this summer, in light of Kushner’s attendance at a meeting with a Russia-linked lawyer who allegedly had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.) It’s the first time that Ivanka’s role in the White House has been criticized so stridently by members of the House.
The couple’s actions, which might have amounted to career-sinking scandals in other administrations, have been hard to keep track of the past nine months, so here’s where we are: The felony fraud charges regarding Ivanka and Donald Jr.’s handling of the sale of condos in the Trump SoHo are only the latest shady dealings brought to light. Last month, Politico reported that both Ivanka and Kushner used multiple private email accounts (oh, the irony) to conduct White House business, which they then rerouted through computers run by the Trump Organization. On top of which, the couple continues to be unable to correctly fill out rote government paperwork: A report recently published by McClatchy showed that the pair was fined for missing deadlines they were required to meet for filing financial paperwork, and that they included different values for the same personal assets (Ivanka listed a partial stake in a New Jersey shopping center as being valued at less than $1,001, while Kushner said it was worth more than $1 million). Kushner has amended his financial disclosure forms 39 times.
“We are requesting that the White House immediately revoke [Ivanka Trump’s] security clearance pending an investigation into her actions,” Beyer and Lieu wrote, citing her “compromised . . . integrity and credibility.” (Integrity and credibility are touchy subjects for the Trumps, who have yet to be stopped by propriety or ethics from profiting from the presidency.) Beyer and Lieu could also stand to start an investigation into Ivanka’s nebulous title of “adviser” to her father. As she has repeatedly made clear, Ivanka sees herself in an apolitical role, sticking to “women’s issues”–type campaigns, like increasing the number of women in STEM fields and supporting military spouses. She doesn’t need security clearance to do any of that. Besides which, the removal of such a designation might prove helpful if she does, in fact, have a transition out of Washington in mind.