Raskin Calls for Kushner’s Security Clearance To Be Suspended
Local congressman joins other Democrats who expressed concern about Kushner’s contacts with high-level Russian officials
Rep. Jamie Raskin
Joe Zimmermann, file photo
U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin and four other Democratic congressmen sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey on Thursday calling for the suspension of Jared Kushner’s security clearance after it was revealed earlier this month that Kushner had contacts with Russian officials that he didn’t disclose during the application process for his clearance.
The New York Times reported that Kushner, who is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, failed to report on his security clearance application that he had meetings with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, and Sergey Gorkov, a prominent Russian banker. Kushner currently holds an interim security clearance and his lawyer has said Kushner’s office will supply the FBI supplemental information to amend the clearance questionnaire submitted Jan. 18.
On Thursday, Raskin (D-8th District) spoke about the issue on the Steele & Ungar SiriusXM radio program and called for a freeze on Kushner’s security clearance until he fully explains why the meetings with the Russians were omitted from the application. Raskin, whose Maryland district includes Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Silver Spring, noted that Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was fired for not disclosing his previous contacts with high-level Russian officials.
“What is it about the administration that all these people keep meeting with confidantes and agents of Vladimir Putin and then not telling the truth about it,” Raskin said on the radio program. “What gives them the idea that they don’t need to disclose these contacts? That’s a really troubling thing.”
Deliberate material omissions— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) April 14, 2017
in the security clearance process may be criminal. Suspend Kushner's clearance until we get the truth. pic.twitter.com/HMbiFzxewG
Trump has tapped Kushner to oversee major initiatives in the administration such as brokering peace in the Middle East and streamlining federal government operations to run more like a business.
Kushner plans to testify on his ties to Russian officials as part of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, although the timing of his appearance has not been scheduled.
Raskin signed the letter to Comey along with Reps. Donald Beyer of Virginia, Ted Lieu of California, Jerrold Nadler of New York and Peter Welch of Vermont.
The congressmen also requested that Kushner “immediately make public” all meetings he had with foreign government officials between June 16, 2015, and Jan. 20, 2017—the dates between Trump’s announced candidacy and his inauguration.