REPS LIEU AND BEYER CALL FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO JARED KUSHNER'S SECURITY CLEARANCE
WASHINGTON – Today Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) and Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr calling on him to open a criminal investigation into reports that Jared Kushner intentionally omitted contacts on his security clearance forms.
In the letter, the Members write:
- We are deeply disturbed by recent reports that President Trump ordered his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, to grant Jared Kushner a security clearance, overruling intelligence officials who raised concerns about the clear national security risks of doing so. Taken together with previous reports that Mr. Kushner omitted contacts with more than one hundred foreign persons on his clearance forms – including the Russian Ambassador – we request that the Department of Justice open an immediate investigation to determine if Mr. Kushner is criminally liable for his false statements.
- Mr. Kushner and Ivanka Trump have both apparently lied in various public interviews and in statements, saying that the President never directed Kelly to grant a clearance for his son-in-law. In an interview on ABC News’ The View on February 8, Ivanka Trump said, “The President had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband’s clearance – zero.”
- Lying to the public, though disgraceful and unethical, is not ispo facto a criminal act. Lying on one’s SF-86 Questionnaire for National Security Positions, however, is a federal crime under 18 U.S. Code § 1001 punishable by up to five years in prison. It was previously reported that Mr. Kushner had to submit at least three separate addenda detailing over 100 omissions, including the infamous June 2016 meeting he attended in Trump Tower where Russian agents offered “dirt” on then-candidate Hillary Clinton. He also failed to report his meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak and the head of Russian-owned bank Vnesheconombank.
- Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) indicated recently the House Committee on Oversight and Reform has accelerated their investigation into the White House security clearance process. However, there is a strong role for the Department of Justice to play in launching a concurrent criminal probe to safeguard our national security secrets and ensure our laws are being upheld – especially given the fact that Chairman Cummings recently stated the White House has not been cooperative in the Committee’s probe.
- Ultimately, the President and his son-in-law have made a mockery of the security clearance process. Their actions put U.S. national security at risk and offend the thousands of dedicated career officials who both grant and receive clearances the correct way. As Attorney General, your loyalty is to the United States, not Mr. Kushner or even the President. We look forward to a prompt response and thank you for your attention to this serious matter.