Since White House aide Rob Porter was forced to resign from his position because of his history of domestic violence, the world has learned a lot about how the White House has been employing people with interim security clearances. Porter, naturally, had his security clearance held up because of his allegedly violent past, but with Chief of Staff John Kelly instituting a new policy that limits the information that those with interim clearances can receive, many have wondered about special advisor Jared Kushner. After all, his security clearance has been held up, presumably because he did not disclose certain meetings with Russians and other foreign representatives in his initial forms.
More signs of trouble have emerged for Kushner. Apparently, the White House let Porter slide because singling him out would have drawn scrutiny to Kushner’s similar status regarding his security clearance. Earlier in February, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein called White House counsel Don McGahn to inform him that there were ongoing issues with Kushner’s security clearance. Further, this call may be what sparked Kelly to announce his policy change. While President Trump can issue the highest-level security clearance to Kushner himself if he wants to, he’s stated that he will leave Kelly in charge on the process going forward.
According to the Washington Post, while Rosenstein did call the White House to alert them to the fact that Kushner’s security clearance was held up, he did not reveal why it was being held up or what was still being investigated.
There are conflicting accounts about whether Rosenstein discussed with McGahn the significance of the information and its possible impact on Kushner’s clearance. Two people said the deputy attorney general told McGahn the Justice Department had obtained important new information, suggesting it could be an obstacle to his clearance process. One other said Rosenstein did not discuss the nature of the ongoing investigation.
Given Kushner’s multiple redactions to his security clearance forms as well as his financial disclosure forms, it’s really anyone’s guess what is keeping Kushner from getting a full security clearance.
(Via Washington Post)