Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adjunct advisor, has finally gained permanent security clearance in the White House after sitting for 7 hours with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. The FBI background checks into Kushner’s financial history and foreign contacts took one year and 123 days. An informant familiar with the process said that Kushner’s permanent clearance was granted after officials completed the FBI background check.
Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, released a statement about his client’s clearance check: “With respect to the news about his clearances, as we stated before, his application was properly submitted, reviewed by numerous career officials and underwent the normal process. Having completed all of these processes, he’s looking forward to continuing to do the work the president has asked him to do.”
Why Did It Take This Long?
In February 2018, Kushner’s security clearance was downgraded from top-secret level to secret level. This meant that he lost access to classified materials and could no longer attend daily intelligence briefings.
But before that, Kushner’s security level was always a point of controversy, largely due to the Robert Porter scandal, and the failure of Kushner disclosing more than 100 foreign contacts on his initial clearance application.
However, it’s still important to note that Kushner can still be indicted in the Mueller-Russia probe. Kushner gave Mueller false information regarding a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between the president and a Russian lawyer. There’s also the possibility of Kushner violating US law by intertwining his finances with White House operations. Ron Hosko, the former head of the FBI criminal division, said that Kushner could face legal consequences if Mueller’s team determines he has been making decisions in the White House that will ultimately impact his “financial position.”
Remember, it is illegal under US law for any government official – even those that are in adjunct, advisory positions like Kushner – to render advice based on financial interest.
Featured image via Pixabay.