The ongoing effort by Democratic lawmakers to revoke the security clearance of Donald Trump’s son–in–law and adviser Jared Kushner continued this week. House Democrats Don Beyer (VA) and John Conyers (MI) on Friday introduced the Security Clearance Review Act, which would allow the FBI director to revoke clearance of any employee in the president’s executive office deemed a national security concern.
Nineteen other Democratic lawmakers co–sponsored the bill.
In April, Beyer and other lawmakers wrote a letter to James Comey, who was FBI director at the time before Trump fired him, requesting that Kushner’s top–secret security clearance be suspended pending a review of statements on his SF–86 questionnaire. The lawmakers expressed concern over “recently uncovered covert dealings with Russian government and intelligence officials.”
“The FBI’s response to that letter alerted the Representatives to the surprising fact that the President alone holds final authority to suspend or revoke employees of the Executive Office of the President,” a statement from Beyer’s office said.
More than 50 lawmakers then signed a letter to Trump counsel Don McGahn requesting the White House revoke Kushner’s clearance. The letter noted that Kushner and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had met with then–Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to discuss opening a “secret line of communication directly between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin.”
“Not only was the meeting concealed from the public, the meeting itself was omitted from both Mr. Kusher’s and Mr. Flynn’s FBI security clearance questionnaires,” the lawmakers said, noting that providing false information on an SF–86 form is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
And then there was the now infamous Trump Tower meeting with Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and other Trump campaign officials, and a Kremlin–linked attorney and likely intelligence operative, just two weeks before Trump clinched the Republican nomination for president.
Earlier this month, Democratic lawmakers also went after Ivanka Trump, asking acting FBI director Andrew McCabe to review her security clearance. In Ivanka Trump’s case, the legislators noted in a letter to McCabe that the SF–86 asked first daughter Ivanka if “you or any member of your immediate family in the past seven years had any contact with a foreign government…or its representatives…”
The Democratic legislators said they were concerned that Ivanka Trump “may have engaged in similar deception” as her husband.
The Security Clearance Review Act is the latest step in this series of actions against the Trump family and their access to top–secret information.
“I hope my Republican colleagues in the House come to recognize sooner rather than later that Trump’s reliance on unqualified family members and campaign sycophants is not just irresponsible, it is dangerous,” Beyer told Salon.