Congressmen press White House to revoke Jared Kushner’s and Ivanka Trump’s security clearances
A pair of House Democrats sent a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn on Thursday calling on him to revoke the security clearances of two of President Trump’s top advisers: his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. In the letter, Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va., and Ted Lieu, D-Calif., cited concerns about Ivanka’s and Kushner’s reported use of private email, as well as issues with their ethics forms. A statement announcing the letter accused the couple of a “brazen disregard for ethics” and an “apparent intention to skirt good governance rules.”
The push from Lieu and Beyer, who are among the fiercest critics of the White House, comes after a slew of headlines about Ivanka’s and Kushner’s email usage. Last month, Politico reported that the couple used private email addresses to conduct White House business — a potential violation of ethics regulations. USA Today subsequently said their email traffic was rerouted through President Trump’s real estate company, the Trump Organization, in the wake of the revelations. According to CNN, McGahn’s office began conducting a review of White House officials’ use of private email following the reports.
“Recent press investigations highlight severe credibility issues with Ivanka Trump, a White House official, close advisor, and daughter to the President,” Beyer and Lieu wrote, adding, “The White House is conducting an investigation into the disturbing actions of Ms. Trump, Mr. Kushner, and others.”
The security-clearance issue has drawn added scrutiny because in last year’s election campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly attacked his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, for her use of a personal email address during her tenure as secretary of state.
Beyer and Lieu also pointed to a report published by McClatchy on Tuesday that said Ivanka and Kushner were fined $200 for missing deadlines for their required financial forms. The congressmen also cited a New Yorker article from Oct. 4 that detailed how Ivanka and President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., were “nearly indicted” in 2012 for allegedly misleading prospective buyers as they worked on one of Trump’s real estate developments.
“These new revelations, along with the ongoing White House probe of Ms. Trump’s private email use, have compromised Ms. Trump’s integrity and credibility. We are requesting that the White House immediately revoke her security clearance pending an investigation into her actions,” wrote Beyer and Lieu.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to comment when asked about the Democratic lawmakers’ letter. “We do not discuss security clearances,” she told Yahoo News Thursday.
Beyer and Lieu’s letter is the latest in an ongoing push by Democrats and other Trump administration opponents for Ivanka and Kushner to be removed from their roles as top White House advisers. Critics have argued it is inappropriate for the president’s family members to have senior roles in the West Wing. There also have been concerns about the pair’s security clearance forms. Kushner has updated his paperwork at least three times to disclose more than 100 meetings with foreign contacts.
Beyer and Lieu were among a group of five Democrats who wrote a letter to the FBI in April, calling for Kushner’s clearance to be revoked because of these omissions in his forms. The letter Beyer and Lieu sent to the White House counsel on Thursday reiterated the request to “immediately revoke [Kushner’s] security clearance.” In July, Beyer led a group of more than 20 Democratic members of the House of Representatives who asked for the FBI to review Ivanka’s security clearance forms in light of the revelations about her husband’s paperwork.