House Democrats tried to add two amendments to a major spending bill aimed at revoking 36-year old White House senior advisor Jared Kushner’s security clearance in the wake of stunning new revelations about his involvement in the Russian collusion scandal currently engulfing the Trump administration.
Trump’s own lawyers don’t want Jared Kushner talking to his father-in-law, but Republicans in Congress think it’s fine to deliver America’s secrets to someone who’s had numerous undisclosed meetings with Russians while watching everyone around him lie to cover it up,
But House Republicans who control the Appropriations Committee stripped out the language anyway, which was intended to secure our nation’s classified information from a crooked White House staffer who was handed his cushy position just because he’s the President’s son-in-law. Business Insider reported the text of both Amendments:
“None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to issue, renew, or maintain a security clearance for any individual in a position in the Executive Office of the President who is under a criminal investigation by a federal law enforcement agency for aiding a foreign government.”
“None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to issue, renew, or maintain a security clearance for any individual in a position in the Executive Office of the President who deliberately fails, as determined by the issuing department or agency, to disclose in the Standard Form 86 [the security clearance form] of such individual a meeting with a foreign national if such disclosure is required for such form.”
Former Obama Administration ethics lawyer Norm Eisen had a firm opinion about the appropriateness of Kushner continuing to hold security clearance after materially omitting his meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya – among others – last summer. He told The Guardian:
“Given the nature of the meeting, it stretches credibility to say he simply forgot it when he initially filled out his forms. That puts him on the hook for false statements liability, possibly. At any rate, it increases his exposure. Once a security clearance is granted it’s much harder to take away, and if this pattern of omission had been known when the security clearance was being considered, I doubt it would have been conferred.”
The pattern of omission by Mr Kushner and others in Donald Trump’s circle of their Russia connections increasingly points to a consciousness of guilt.”
Jared Kushner has now updated his security clearance disclosures three times and added over 100 foreign contacts. He met with the head of a Russian state-run bank, the Russian Ambassador and with a Russian lawyer with her translator looking for official dirt on Hillary Clinton during the campaign, but conveniently forgot to let the FBI know before taking his controversial White House job.
But it appears that in the face of all this evidence of misconduct on Jared Kushner’s part, the Republicans in the House would rather put their party over the good of our country.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition