White House Counsel Donald McGahn and other Trump administration officials have been so vexed by #Jared Kushner’s months-long inability to obtain a permanent security clearance that they have hesitated to get involved in other cases with potential problems, several people familiar with the matter said.
Dozens of White House employees, including Kushner, are still waiting for permanent clearances and have been operating for months on a temporary status that allows them to handle sensitive information while the FBI probes their backgrounds, U.S. officials have said. Two U.S. officials said they do not expect Kushner to receive a permanent security clearance in the near future.
It is not uncommon for security-clearance investigations to drag on for months, but Kushner’s unique situation has cast a pall over the process in the minds of some, these people said.
The president’s son-in-law and close adviser has been allowed to see materials, including the President’s Daily Brief, that are among the most sensitive in government. He has been afforded that privilege even though he has only an interim clearance and is a focus in the ongoing special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the election.
Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s attorney, said in a statement: “I have inquired and been told that there are a dozen or more people at Mr. Kushner’s level whose process is delayed like his; that it is not uncommon for this process to take this long in a new administration (some taking as long as two years); that Mr. Kushner’s will take longer than usual because of the extent of his holdings, travels and lengthy submissions; and that there was no concern about the process or Mr. Kushner’s ability to do his job. This is just the latest in unnamed sources quoting second-hand hearsay concerning Mr. Kushner that, like the others, will be shown to be untrue.”