Report: Trump Ordered Kelly to 'Fix' Kushner Security Clearance

Dems threaten to subpoena White House
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2019 2:25 AM CST
In this Aug. 29, 2018 photo, White House adviser Jared Kushner waves as he arrives at the Office of the United States Trade Representative for talks on trade with Canada.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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(Newser) – House Democrats vowed to step up their investigation of White House security clearances amid reports that President Trump demanded a top-secret security clearance for son-in-law Jared Kushner. Sources tell the New York Times that Trump ordered former chief of staff John Kelly to grant Kushner the clearance last year despite objections from intelligence officials, as well as then-top White House lawyer Donald McGahn. The sources say concerns about Kushner included his foreign business dealings. Insiders tell the Washington Post that after Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump complained about his long-delayed clearance, Trump told Kelly to "fix the problem."

Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Kushner lawyer Abbe Lowell, says officials affirmed in 2018 that "Kushner's security clearance was handled in the regular process with no pressure from anyone" and "new stories, if accurate, do not change what was affirmed at the time." Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House Oversight Committee, threatened Thursday to subpoena the White House, Politico reports. "The security clearance process is supposed to function in an even-handed and neutral manner based on the national security interests of the United States," Cummings said. The latest report, he said, shows Trump "may have granted access to our country's most sensitive classified information to his son-in-law against the advice of career staff." (Dozens of other decisions on security clearances were also reportedly overruled.)

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