Following the revelation that the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner participated in a 2016 meeting with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya that had been set up for the purpose of allowing Veselnitskaya to share dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government, former Bush administration ethics lawyer Richard Painter is at his wits end, a feeling many of us can no doubt empathize with.
Kushner revealed that he had participated in this meeting, which federal investigators did not know to exist before the presidential son-in-law’s revelations, while also revealing that he had participated in around one hundred other previously undisclosed interactions with foreign nationals.
Kushner has an official role in his father-in-law’s administration, meaning that he had to file an SF-86 form earlier this year to get his security clearance. That form requires applicants to disclose all relevant contacts with foreign nationals; Kushner didn’t do that. Instead, he notified authorities that he would be updating his list of contacts with foreign nationals as time went on. In the meantime, Kushner was granted a temporary security clearance.
Now, however, it’s come out that Kushner didn’t just leave a couple meetings off his SF-86. Rather, as mentioned, he left dozens upon dozens of meetings off the form. The aforementioned meeting with Veselnitskaya is the most prominent of these meetings, representing the first concrete piece of evidence of collusion between the Trump team and Russian government efforts to sway the outcome of the 2016 election.
Under “normal” circumstances, many have postulated, Kushner would have his security clearance revoked. However, there is no indication that the president’s son-in-law is going to be kicked out of the White House any time soon.
Of the process for if that were to happen, Vox reports:
‘When it comes to the White House, it’s unclear who makes the final decision about whether to revoke the clearance, but in most general cases it comes back to the final adjudicator who granted the clearance in the first place.’
Richard Painter, however, joins an array of Democratic members of Congress in growing impatient in waiting for the man who concealed hundreds of interactions with foreign nationals to get his security clearance pulled.
He wrote on Twitter Sunday:
‘Jared Kushner’s security clearance should be revoked. If not, we should just throw in the towel and give one to Vladimir Putin himself.’
Jared Kushner's security clearance should be revoked. If not, we should just throw in the towel and give one to Vladimir Putin himself
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) July 16, 2017
Check out Twitter’s reaction to Painter’s tweet below.
If Kushner still has security clearance we need to rethink the whole basis on which we operate our classification system from ground up.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) July 16, 2017
FLYNN got and kept security clearance close to a month after he was deemed to be compromised by the Kremlin. She informed WH. Was fired.
— Robert Walden (@RobertWalden4) July 16, 2017
— Esther Eli (@EliEstherVizio) July 16, 2017
That's what they tried to do with the joint cyber security effort.
— Stephen Gay (@airbusguy2000) July 16, 2017
Vladimir reveives same INTEL as Kushner anyway. They're setting up another voter scam for 2018 with media bots, voter suppression& omission.
— Carol York (@carolfromindy) July 16, 2017
WHY CAN'T WE DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS? Sorry, don't mean to yell but I'm tired & angry he hasn't had his clearance revoked.
— Lillybig 🇺🇸 (@miyomy) July 16, 2017
Featured Image via Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg