Trump Adviser Kushner Gets Permanent Security Clearance

Trump Adviser Kushner Gets Permanent Security Clearance

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators questioned White House senior adviser Jared Kushner about potential Russian collusion, his contacts with foreign nationals and potential obstruction issues, including the firing of FBI Director James Comey, Kushner's lawyer said Wednesday.

Kushner had previously met with Mueller's team in November of a year ago.

The future of Kushner's security clearance was uncertain after chief of staff John Kelly put an end to top-level interim clearances at the White House earlier this year.

Staff secretary Rob Porter later resigned.

"Since then, he has continued this complete cooperation, providing a large number of documents and sitting for hours of interview with congressional committees and providing numerous documents and sitting for two interviews with the Office of Special Counsel", Lowell said in a statement. That meant Kushner was able to see information only at the lower "secret" level, but not highly classified information.

"His application was properly submitted, reviewed by career officials, and went through the normal process", said Lowell.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly yanked several senior officials temporary top-level clearances in February
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly yanked several senior officials temporary top-level clearances in February

While Kushner's clearance approval took longer than is the norm, a person briefed on the matter told the Times that his "complicated financial history" was the reason for the holdup. It was limited to questions about former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, who later was charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He is married to Ivanka Trump, the president's oldest daughter. The interview did not deal with Kushner's finances or his companies, Lowell said.

Lowell said Kushner has been voluntarily cooperating with Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

His temporary clearance was suspended by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in February along with other officials operating under temporary clearances as part of measures to tighten procedures after White House staff secretary Rob Porter was sacked when his two ex-wives raised charges of domestic abuse.

The White House had blamed the delay on administrative backlogs that normally plague new administrations.

Some had expected Kushner might not receive a permanent clearance for the duration of Mueller's investigation. But Kushner's troubles were compounded at least in part because his initial security clearance application didn't list dozens of foreign contacts that he later included in updated submissions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Kushner updated the SF-86 forms once more in June to include that meeting.

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