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Fast Forward

House Democrats Ask FBI To Suspend Jared Kushner’s Security Clearance

A group of House Democrats released a letter on Thursday calling on FBI Director James Comey to suspend Jared Kushner’s security clearance after a New York Times report revealed that the presidential advisor’s clearance application failed to disclose dozens of meetings over the last several years with Russian officials.

“Lack of candor, particularly regarding contacts with Russian officials, was a significant issue for the Trump Transition,” the letter noted, citing cases involving Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. “We are concerned that Jared Kushner may have engaged in similar deception,” it added.

The letter, which was spearheaded by Representative Don Beyer and signed by four other members of Congress, including Jewish lawmakers Jamie Raskin and Jerrold Nadler, noted that knowingly falsifying or concealing information on the form is a felony. It asked for Comey to suspend Kushner’s top-secret status “pending a review of Mr. Kushner’s compliance with the laws and regulation governing security clearances.”

“The fact that Kushner is President Trump’s son-in-law does not place him above the law,” they added in an accompanying statement. “Anyone else would face severe discipline for failing to disclose meetings with foreign officials, a material omission which potentially amounts to a criminal offense.”

Among those whom Kushner met with but did not list on his official questionnaire included Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the U.S., and Sergey Gorkov, a former Russian spy who now leads a state-owned bank that is subject to American sanctions. Kushner’s lawyer told the Times that Kushner’s form had been submitted prematurely on January 18, and that Kushner’s office told the FBI the following day that he would provide the required supplemental information. Kushner is now operating on an interim security clearance pending his formal FBI interview.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com

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