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Democrats are again calling for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to lose their security clearances after another pair of controversies involving the couple.
In a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu of California and Don Beyer of Virginia requested that the White House immediately revoke both Trump’s and Kushner’s security clearances following reports on the couple’s use of private email while serving in the White House in addition to a recent report outlining how Trump was nearly indicted in 2012 for real estate fraud related to the Trump SoHo.
“Recent press investigations highlight severe credibility issues with Ivanka Trump, a White House official, close advisor, and daughter to the president,” the letter from Lieu and Beyer began.
“These new revelations, along with the ongoing White House probe of Ms. Trump’s private email use, have compromised Ms. Trump’s integrity and credibility,” the pair added. “We are requesting that the White House immediately revoke her security clearance pending an investigation into her actions.”
The pair then pointed back to a June request to strip Kushner of his security clearance because of the FBI’s probe into his communications with Russian officials prior to President Donald Trump taking office. But the congressmen added that they “have seen no action on this matter.”
“In light of the recent developments relating to both Mr. Kushner’s e-mail accounts and his financial disclosure statements, we would like to reiterate our request that you immediately revoke his security clearance,” they wrote.
Kushner, a White House senior adviser, and Trump, an assistant to the president, have come under renewed scrutiny following those recent revelations.
Last month, Politico reported that Kushner used a private email account to communicate with top White House officials such as former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former chief strategist Steve Bannon. The White House is currently investigating the email practices of several top officials after the revelation of Kushner’s account. While it is not illegal for White House officials to use private accounts, they must forward any work-related emails to government accounts for record preservation purposes.
On Monday, Politico reported that White House officials began examining emails from a third, previously unreported email account on the domain used by Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Trump too had utilized a private email account, which was set up before she had joined the administration. Sources told Politico that since January, hundreds of emails were sent from White House addresses to private accounts on the Kushner domain.
A report about a possible indictment of Trump came to light earlier this week. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office dropped a criminal case against her and her older brother, Donald Trump Jr., after Trump’s personal lawyer made a donation to the district attorney’s campaign, according to a joint investigation by ProPublica, WNYC, and The New Yorker.
Investigators were reportedly close to indicting the two eldest Trump children on federal fraud charges in 2012 after learning they intentionally misled investors and buyers about the value of the Trump SoHo hotel.
Democrats have tried on a number of occassions to strip the Trump family members working in the White House of their clearances. In July, a group of Democrats called for Trump’s clearance to be revoked after Kushner had to add more than 100 contacts to his security clearance form after failing to disclose foreign contacts.
That group of 20 House Democrats pointed to contacts Kushner failed to report initially, such as his meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Russian banker Sergey Gorkov, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, the latter of which was also attended by then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump Jr. in June 2016.
In a letter to then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, the Democrats, led by Beyer, requested information on any potential discrepancies between Trump’s and Kushner’s security clearance forms, which the Democrats noted additionally requires the disclosure of foreign contacts, business interests, and meetings by spouses and siblings spanning the previous seven years. Democrats asked whether Trump’s eldest daughter disclosed any of her own meetings and contacts, Kushner’s, and Trump Jr.’s.
Also in July, Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida introduced a pair of amendments aimed at stripping Kushner of his security clearance into a 2018 appropriations bill. Those amendments were quickly voted down.
The effort came after the revelation of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that Kushner had participated in with Trump Jr. and Manafort.