WASHINGTON (CN) – A group of House Democrats on Thursday sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey demanding he suspend White House senior advisor Jared Kushner’s security clearance over a report that Kushner did not disclose meetings with Russian officials from his application.
The letter is in response to an April 6 story from the New York Times reporting that Kushner, who is also President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, did not disclose on his application for a top-secret security clearance meetings he took with several Russian leaders, including ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Sergey Gorkov, a Russian banker who graduated from a training school for Russia’s spy agency.
Kushner’s lawyer told the Times at the time that the omissions were a mistake and that Kushner’s security clearance forms were submitted prematurely. Kushner told the FBI the next day that he would be adding more information later, his lawyer told The Times.
“Given the severity of the allegations and still unanswered questions about this administration’s recently uncovered covert dealings with Russian government and intelligence officials, we are requesting that Mr. Kushner’s interim top-secret security clearance by suspended pending a review of Mr. Kushner’s compliance with laws and regulation governing security clearances,” the two-page letter reads.
A phone call with Kislyak was what forced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn from the White House in February while a meeting with the diplomat forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from investigations into Trump’s campaign and transition last month.
Led by Virginia Rep. Don Beyer, five House Democrats signed the letter, including Reps. Ted Lieu, Jamie Raskin and Jerrold Nadler, who sit on the Judiciary Committee. Vermont Rep. Peter Welch also signed the letter, which was sent to Comey and Director of the National Background Investigations Bureau at the Office of Personnel Management Charles Phalen Jr.
“We are gravely concerned about the larger context within which this omission occurred,” the representatives said in a joint statement. “Mr. Kushner’s lack of candor about meetings with Russian officials appears to be part of a larger pattern of dissembling and deception on Russian contacts from the Trump team and we believe the public deserves the truth about why these meetings took place and what they mean for U.S. foreign policy.”
Neither the White House nor the FBI responded to a request for comment on the letter.