Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, wants the White House to explain why senior adviser Jared Kushner still has a security clearance despite reports he failed to disclose meetings with Russian officials and businessmen.
Cummings sent a letter signed by all the Democrats on his committee to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Wednesday requesting documents by July 5, including Kushner’s security clearance application and records of his contacts with Russians.
Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, omitted dozens of contacts with foreign leaders on his security clearance application, The New York Times reported in April, even though the application asks for a list of all encounters with foreign government officials over the past seven years. The Washington Post also reported last month that Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. had told his superiors Kushner wanted to set up a secret communications backchannel between the Trump transition team and Moscow.
Cummings’ letter cites government rules that say when there are credible allegations that a government employee is unfit to handle classified information, the employee’s security clearance is suspended pending an investigation.
“It is unclear why Mr. Kushner continues to have access to classified information while these allegations are being investigated,” the Maryland Democrat wrote.
His letter also questions why the White House didn’t suspend the security clearance of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn after being informed by former acting Attorney General Sally Yates that he might be susceptible to Russian blackmail.
“Although the White House received credible allegations of obvious security concern relating to General Flynn from the Acting Attorney General, it appears that the White House did not suspend his security clearance while those allegations were reviewed,” Cummings wrote.