White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner has reportedly still not passed a background check required for anyone seeking permanent security clearance in the White House — with Kushner still using a temporary pass almost a year into the new administration.
Newsweek reports that Kushner’s clearance was delayed after he initially omitted dozens of foreign contracts from his original form submission for clearance. Kushner’s trustworthiness and investments abroad are still reportedly being investigated, and experts suggested his clearance should be suspended until it can be determined if those lapses were intentional.
“It’s serious.” Mary Kuntz, a Washington, D.C., attorney told Newsweek. “It’s evidence you can’t be trusted and makes the likeliness of you getting a security clearance even less.”
Kushner’s team has blamed an administrative error for the initial lapses.
Other experts told the outlet that Kushner’s stake in a questionable purchase of 666 Fifth Avenue at the height of the real estate bubble — leaving his company saddled with an enormous mortgage — would normally be enough to suspend interim clearance over concerns he could use his position to help his family company’s investment.
“If Jared Kushner was working for any other department in the U.S. government and these issues arose…about falsifying a clearance or omitting information…his access would be first suspended. And then if there’s no other position he could hold, he’d be out of work without pay. He’d be off the job,” attorney Joseph Kaplan told Newsweek.
Numerous experts implied that it was Kushner’s close relationship with President Trump, his father-in-law, that meant he was still holding on to even an interim security clearance.
“If he was anybody else, his security clearance would have already been denied,” Kaplan added.
Kushner has been under increasing scrutiny over his lack of disclosure as well as his Russian connections. Two Senate committees have complained about his failure to hand over certain documents, and that they have learned certain details from the media.
Kushner is also one of a number of White House officials of interest to FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller’s team met with Kushner in November and reportedly asked about a meeting during the transition featuring then-incoming national security advisor Michael Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
On Friday, the Associated Press reported that Kushner was the senior White House official who told Flynn to contact the Russians over a U.N. vote on Israeli settlements in December.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.