On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee announced that it is launching an investigation into White House security clearances. The probe will focus on the security clearance process, and according to reports by NBC News, Donald Trump’s own son-in-law Jared Kushner could be at the center of the investigation.
“The Committee on Oversight and Reform is launching an in-depth investigation of the security clearance process at the White House and Transition Team in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration,” the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform Elijah E. Cummings said in a letter to the White House.
Back in February of last year, reports surfaced that an astonishing number of political appointees did not have permanent security clearance as of November 2017. Nearly 130 separate individuals who were involved with the Executive Office of the President were lacking the necessary security clearance, including Trump’s daughter Ivanka, her husband Kushner, and Trump’s own legal counsel.
Kushner eventually had his security clearance approved following the report, but the story didn’t end there. In February of 2018, the president’s advisor saw his clearance downgraded due to a paperwork error. According to reports, he failed to provide all the necessary data on his financial disclosure form. This was later rectified, restoring his security clearance once again.
Kushner has reportedly only been granted “Top Secret” security clearance during his time at the White House. This means he is forbidden from viewing information that pertains to high levels of national security and intelligence.
And Kushner is not alone in drawing the attention of the House Oversight Committee. National Security Advisor John Bolton and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn are both being looked at closely, as they seek to determine exactly which security protocols were overlooked or ignored — and more importantly, why.
Assorted other members of the Trump administration past and present are also under investigation. The committee is requesting extensive paperwork from the White House regarding security protocol, so they can fully study the process and determine if there were any mistakes or oversights committed during that time.
House Republicans had previously looked into this situation back in February 2018. At the time, they were seeking to learn how former White House Staff Secretary Robert Porter managed to receive Top Secret codeword information during his stint in the administration. Porter has an extensive history of domestic abuse allegations that should have prevented him from receiving clearance to access such sensitive information.
The White House has yet to issue an official statement regarding the investigation.