- A top official at the US Justice Department brought new information related to Jared Kushner’s ongoing background check to the attention of the White House earlier this month.
- According to a report from The Washington Post, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein spoke to White House general counsel Donald McGahn about the development, which he said required further investigation.
- Kushner has been working with an interim security clearance since his early days in the Trump administration. The matter could complicate his path to a full security clearance, a process that is already in flux under chief of staff John Kelly.
Jared Kushner’s path to a full security clearance may have just gotten more complicated.
The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein called the White House earlier this month to inform general counsel Donald McGahn that new, “significant information” related to Kushner needed further investigation.
The information was discovered in the course of Kushner’s background check, The Washington Post reported on Friday. It could further delay his ability to receive a full security clearance.
The federal inquiry into Kushner’s background has been ongoing since last year. He has been working with an interim security clearance in the meantime, which affords him access to some of the same classified information President Donald Trump sees.
While it was not immediately clear what the new information about Kushner entailed, it adds to the uncertainty around Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser for two key reasons:
- White House chief of staff John Kelly is moving to limit access to information among staffers who have not yet obtained a full security clearance, and Kushner could be directly affected by that effort.
- The new information on Kushner that Rosenstein warned the White House about, though not publicly known, could put Kushner under further scrutiny by Robert Mueller’s investigative team amid the Russia investigation.
Kushner has been in the hot seat with Mueller’s team since last year – most notably because of his contacts with foreign dignitaries and businesspeople during the 2016 presidential transition. Kushner failed to report some of those contacts to US officials.
Kushner was said to be resisting Kelly’s efforts to regulate access to information among aides who lack a full security clearance, but Kelly has insisted that Kushner was not in danger on that front.
As president, Trump can allow Kushner to have the access he needs in order to do his job, but he made clear on Friday that the final decision would be up to Kelly.