https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpos ... aa8ac8ed76Among the people whose cases the panel plans to scrutinize are former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, who recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials; Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who did not disclose several contacts with foreign officials on his security clearance forms; and former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who was accused of spousal abuse.
The investigation will focus not just on Trump’s time in the White House, but also on actions of his transition team, members of which also handled sensitive information with questionable clearances. Vice President Pence, who was chair of the transition team, received Cummings’ letter, as did the FBI, the State Department and the National Rifle Association.
House Democrats are interested in learning whether security officials limited, suspended or turned down any White House staffers’ applications to acquire permanent security clearances — a request that could disclose why the intelligence community never approved Kushner to view highly “sensitive compartmented information” despite his proximity to the president.
Other figures of note who are expected to be scrutinized under the probe include Flynn’s son and transition team member, Michael Flynn Jr.; his former deputy, K.T. McFarland; his former Africa director, Robin Townley; and his eventual successor, John Bolton. Sebastian Gorka, the onetime deputy assistant to the president whose security clearance Kelly reportedly revoked, is also a subject of the probe.
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I started a new topic for the House investigation of the security clearance process. A lot of high profile trump administration (former and current) are going to be in the spotlight.
I didn't know that Bolton was a ... buddy of Maria Butina.
https://www.npr.org/2019/01/23/68789838 ... clearances
Bolton recorded a video in 2013 for The Right To Bear Arms, a Russian gun rights group then run by Maria Butina, the Russian woman who has admitted serving as a clandestine agent for Russia.
NPR has previously reported that Bolton was asked to do the video by a former president of the National Rifle Association.
Cummings asked the NRA in a letter Wednesday to provide any documents related to Bolton's foreign contacts.
Information received from the NRA could be checked against Bolton's security clearance paperwork for consistency regarding foreign contacts he may have had.
Cummings' letter to Pat Cipollone (Class of '84, CovCath!), freshly minted Counsel to the President. Cipollone was an assistant to William Barr, our next Attorney General. Hmmm.
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... probe.html
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... probe.html
We're being destroyed by the trump/kushner Family Crime Syndicate. The entire article is well worth reading.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald ... d_nn_tw_maOfficials rejected Jared Kushner for top secret security clearance, but were overruled
WASHINGTON — Jared Kushner's application for a top secret clearance was rejected by two career White House security specialists after an FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him — but their supervisor overruled the recommendation and approved the clearance, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The official, Carl Kline, is a former Pentagon employee who was installed as director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017. Kushner's was one of at least 30 cases in which Kline overruled career security experts and approved a top secret clearance for incoming Trump officials despite unfavorable information, the two sources said. They said the number of rejections that were overruled was unprecedented — it had happened only once in the three years preceding Kline's arrival.
Kushner's FBI background check identified questions about his family's business, his foreign contacts, his foreign travel and meetings he had during the campaign, the sources said, declining to be more specific.
[lots of ]
Among those nations discussing ways to influence Kushner to their advantage, according to the current and former officials, were the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico, the Post reported.
Maddow on it. Un-fucking-believable.
Every fucking Republican in Washington is a traitor.
Every fucking Republican in Washington is a traitor.
No matter where you go, there you are!
This investigation will be very interesting
Tonight, Marcy Wheeler retweeted this thread from February, 2018:
THREAD // JARED KUSHNER BACKGROUND:
Over the past 3 weeks two sources provided The Sparrow Project with tips related to Jared Kushner's security clearance and inability to pass an FBI background check
These tips on Jared Kushner's clearance were provided to us by intermediaries but originated from what appears to be a former WH staff person(s).
These tips related to why Jared Kushner was unable to obtain permanent top secret security clearance and provide a possible reason why he was unable to pass his FBI background check.
It is important to underscore that any tip originating from the White House or former WH staff should be considered with the utmost caution. The WH internally is even more divisive then they project, backstabbing is real, and fake tips have become a real problem.
These tips should be handled with the same caution, but the developing story around Jared Kushner has introduced a new variable.
The tip centers on Jared Kushner's beleaguered 666 5th Avenue property and US authorities interception of a phone call wherein Jared attempts to unload a portion of that property.
The source was unclear as to who was the target of the phone intercept, but they implied the individual speaking to Jared Kushner may likely have been the target of the intercept. The call was immediately flagged by the FBI.
According to one source this call took place at some point during the transition, and that the individual on the other end was "a Saudi National, or a Qatari"...
When pressed on the "either or" part the source made it clear that they are uncertain if more than one phone call has become the target of FBI scrutiny — Implying that additional calls may have been discovered after the initial intercept accidentally caught the first one.
The source further clarified that the intercepted material from the first accidentally intercepted call (and the possible subsequent calls) was now with the Mueller investigation. This made it impossible for the FBI to make the recommendation for security clearance.
The result was Jared Kushner's temporary interim clearance that Kelly downgraded today. But this was the least troubling element of the source's allegation regarding Kushner.
It was unclear to what extent the source was projecting their own analysis on the Jared Kushner tip, but they intimated that Mueller may be investigating whether the dubious Saudi Arms Deal may have included a possible caveat regarding something to do with 666 5th Avenue.
I must underscore that this part should be viewed as conjecture at best, and will absolutely need to be verified by journalists before claiming it is a fact. But, if true it would be explosive.
At the heart of this Jared Kushner security clearance downgrade story is a silent cosign that he is under investigation. Something we all sort of assumed, but at the end of the day it has little to do with the public's prevailing #TrumpRussia interests.
It is a story of debt, how that debt made Jared Kushner vulnerable to foreign influence, and they he made it easy by going to them first.
Several media outlets have started to produce versions of this same story, with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and China being used interchangeably when referring possible investigation avenues being pursued. It may be all of them. This source may have shared only a piece they saw.
It is my opinion that we will see this thread further clarified in the weeks and months ahead, but three things will remain in whatever story emerges on the other side: ...
Jared Kushner's debt, Donald Trump's nepotism, and the unfettered kleptocracy of this administration.
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19m19 minutes ago
NEW: @RepDonBeyer and @RepTedLieu just wrote the White House asking for Jared #Kushner's security clearance to be revoked citing @NBCNews @NBCInvestigates @KenDilanianNBC @PeterAlexander
“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
If you're detail minded, here's the letter:
https://beyer.house.gov/uploadedfiles/k ... .31.19.pdf
'Whistleblower' seeks protection after sounding alarm over White House security clearances
A White House security specialist is seeking official whistleblower protection from the federal government after raising concerns about “unwarranted security clearances" for administration officials, including Jared Kushner, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
The specialist, Tricia Newbold, filed the whistleblower complaint less than two weeks after she was suspended without pay for defying her supervisor, Carl Kline.
The complaint, which was obtained by NBC News, alleges Newbold raised concerns with Kline about a security clearance for an individual as early as July 2017. The complaint does not identify the person, but sources familiar with the situation told NBC News that it was Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser.
Who is Carl Kline There is very little info if you do The Google. "A former Pentagon official" simply doesn't cut it, at least with me. Media has by and large ignored him. Why He's the one behind all the sketchy security clearances, including Kushner.
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A lot of career people who've been deep into the intelligence side at the Pentagon, State Department, CIA, or NSA have virtually no public profile. That's by design. For instance: I happen to be friends with a guy who has been around the block and then some in the State Department. Embassy postings galore. Now he's reasonably senior at Foggy Bottom. You literally will not find him if you Google search his name. And he's spent better than two decades in the Foreign Service. So don't conclude that just because you can't find Kline doesn't mean he wasn't qualified for the job. "Qualified" and "willing to cut corners to please the powers that be" are not mutually exclusive by any means in this administration.
"There's no play here. There's no angle. There's no champagne room. I'm not a miracle worker, I'm a janitor. The math on this is simple; the smaller the mess, the easier it is for me to clean up." -Michael Clayton
New York Times
Adding:Trump Ordered Officials to Give Jared Kushner a Security Clearance
WASHINGTON — President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer, four people briefed on the matter said.
Mr. Trump’s decision in May so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the White House chief of staff at the time, John F. Kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” to give Mr. Kushner the top-secret clearance.
The White House counsel at the time, Donald F. McGahn II, also wrote an internal memo outlining the concerns that had been raised about Mr. Kushner — including by the C.I.A. — and how Mr. McGahn had recommended that he not be given a top-secret clearance.
The disclosure of the memos contradicts statements made by the president, who told The New York Times in January in an Oval Office interview that he had no role in his son-in-law receiving his clearance. ...
The decision last year to grant Mr. Kushner a top-secret clearance upgraded him from earlier temporary and interim status. He never received a higher-level designation that would have given him access to need-to-know intelligence known as sensitive compartmented information.
It is not known precisely what factors led to the problems with Mr. Kushner’s security clearance. Officials had raised questions about his own and his family’s real estate business’s ties to foreign governments and investors, and about initially unreported contacts he had with foreigners. The issue also generated criticism of Mr. Trump for having two family members serve in official capacities in the West Wing.
Politico: Trump's former acting attorney general: 'Have we lost our ability to be shocked?'
Schiff and Swalwell Statements on Report of Kushner Security Clearance
February 28, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), the Chairman of the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee, released the following statements.
Chairman Adam Schiff:
“The revelation that President Trump personally intervened to overrule White House security officials and the Intelligence Community to grant a Top Secret security clearance to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is the latest indicator of the President’s utter disregard for our national security and for the men and women who sacrifice so much every day to keep us safe. There is no nepotism exception for background investigations.
“Worse still was the White House’s oft-repeated lie that Kushner had been granted the clearance at the conclusion of a normal process. Reports indicate, moreover, that Kushner’s access to the nation’s most tightly held secrets, which require separate adjudication by the Intelligence Community, was restricted. This is a clear indication of the deep unease that national security officials have about Kushner’s suitability.
“As part of its oversight of the Intelligence Community, the House Intelligence Committee will be working closely with the Oversight and Reform Committee to support their investigation into the White House’s security clearance process.”
Chairman Eric Swalwell:
“As chair of the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee, I’m concerned the President has jeopardized our national security by putting clearances in the hands of unscrupulous people, and against the recommendations of background investigators. To ensure our deepest secrets are protected, we will work to ensure clearances are granted based on trust, not by blood or bond.”
White House not cooperating in security clearance probe: House committee chairman
The chairman of the House Oversight Committee says the White House has not been cooperative in a growing probe of security clearances given to members of the Trump administration.
The accusation comes on the heels of a stunning report in the New York Times Thursday, citing four sources who claim former chief of staff John Kelly said President Donald Trump ordered him to get a top-level security clearance for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, approved. ABC News has not independently confirmed the report, which cites a memo written by Kelly.
Trump told the Times last month he "was never involved in his [Jared’s] security" clearance. Earlier this month, in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Abby Hunstman, Ivanka Trump said " the president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband's clearance, zero." ...
“It is highly usual for the president to override security officials and instruct them to grant a security clearance to someone who has been deemed high risk,” said former Homeland Security official and current ABC News contributor John Cohen. “The security clearance process is one of the ways we protect our nation’s most sensitive secrets. And while the president has the authority to override the process, it doesn’t mean he should because it may place our national security at risk.”
New York Daily News Editorial
The son-in-law also rises: How Trump rigged Jared Kushner's clearance, then lied about it
On the books, the Trump family business is real estate, resorts and hotel management. The true family business is self-dealing, wrecking institutional norms and humiliating any who get in their way, then lying about ever having bent the rules.
Erstwhile Trump fixer Michael Cohen testified to as much in his congressional hearing last week, potentially implicating both Don Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump in the Trump Tower Moscow discussions. ...
Now come reports that President Trump overruled multiple individuals, including former chief of staff John Kelly and ex-counsel Don McGahn, to grant his son-in-law Jared Kushner a top-secret security clearance. This, despite opposition by multiple career White House security specialists, who no doubt worried about Kushner's many foreign business entanglements.
Kelly wrote a contemporaneous memo disclosing Trump ordered the approval. A separate McGahn memo disclosed that the CIA raised strenuous objections. The latter's objection is especially disconcerting given Kushner's central role in shaping Middle East policy.
In January, the President claimed he "was never involved" with the clearances. "I don't want to get involved in that stuff." Uh huh.
Daily Beast: Embassy Staffers Say Jared Kushner Shut Them Out of Saudi Meetings
When a member of the administration travels overseas, the embassy often helps coordinate the trip. Not when Jared Kushner meets his buddy MBS.
All I can think about when I read that is the video where Jared got locked outside one of the G-whatever summits and had to call someone to let him in
Why would anyone need a State Department when one can manage the details all out of the WH by precedential family members. Royalty meets Royalty....
Scoop: White House leak to House Dems on Jared and Ivanka's clearances
From a White House source, the House Oversight Committee has obtained documents related to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump's security clearances that the Trump administration refused to provide, according to a senior Democratic aide involved in handling the documents.
Why it matters: The Trump administration's problems with leaks will now benefit Congress, making it harder for the White House to withhold information from Democratic investigators.
The news: The White House this week rejected the committee's request for documents on the process for granting security clearances to staffers.
The twist: But the House Oversight Committee in early February had already obtained the leaked documents that detail the entire process, from the spring of 2017 to the spring of 2018, on how both Kushner and Trump were ultimately granted their security clearances.
The senior Democratic aide who was involved in handling the documents told Axios that two staffers on the Oversight Committee said the documents are "part of the puzzle that we would be asking for" from the White House, "so we appreciate having this upfront."