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2 House Democrats ask Mulvaney to revoke Kushner's security clearance

Posted: 3:54 PM, Jan 31, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-31 18:54:18-05

Two House Democrats asked acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to immediately revoke senior White House adviser Jared Kushner's security clearance, citing "serious concerns" about the clearance's implications in a letter Thursday.

"The White House's pattern of hiding the truth and devious behavior with regard to Mr. Kushner's security clearance suggests that the Administration does not take information security seriously," Democratic Reps. Don Beyer of Virginia and Ted Lieu of California wrote.

The request comes following an NBC report last week that Kushner had been rejected for a clearance by two White House security specialists after his FBI background check raised concerns, but their supervisor overruled them. House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, launched an investigation into the White House's security clearance process earlier last week.

Beyer and Lieu cited five letters they had sent to the administration over the past two years raising concerns about "Kushner's track record of 'omitting' meetings, relationships, and business interests that tie him to foreign officials from his SF-86 clearance application."

The Democratic lawmakers blasted the White House for providing them with "no relevant information" on NBC's reporting that Kushner's overruled rejection was "one of at least 30 cases" approved by that supervisor, Carl Kline -- an "unprecedented" number of rejections, according to the network.

"Members of Congress are now placed in the impossible position of wondering who these 30 officials are that received clearances despite being rejected by the career security officials, what the 'unfavorable information' was in their records, and why they still have ongoing access to sensitive national security information," Beyer and Lieu wrote.

The two called for "swift action" on the matter, arguing that the President "has a responsibility to the people who put him in office that should outweigh his personal business and familial interests."

"The ongoing refusal of the Administration to abide by longstanding security clearance processes, coupled with its unwillingness to explain its actions to Members of Congress, increasingly seems like a coverup," they said.