Politics Dem senators want list of White House officials with interim security clearances

23:41  14 february  2018
23:41  14 february  2018 Source:   The Hill

Dozens at White House lack permanent security clearances

  Dozens at White House lack permanent security clearances The departure of an aide accused of domestic violence puts background investigations in the spotlight.People familiar with the security-clearance process said one of those White House officials with an interim approval is Jared Kushner — the president’s son-in-law and one of his most influential advisers.

(D-N.J.) noted recent reports that indicated dozens of White House officials and appointees have been working in the Trump administration with interim security clearances .

“We are writing to obtain information related to the White House ’s interim security clearance process. Democrats including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi House Dems furious with Senate leaders Dems want answers on White House security

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Six Democratic senators on Wednesday wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking for a full list of White House staffers working without a full security clearance.

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Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tom Udall (N.M.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) noted recent reports that indicated dozens of White House officials and appointees have been working in the Trump administration with interim security clearances.

The letter asks for a list of those with interim clearances, as well as the status of FBI background investigations into those individuals. It specifically seeks information on the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

As Jared Kushner’s security clearance is delayed, White House hesitates to act on others with possible problems

  As Jared Kushner’s security clearance is delayed, White House hesitates to act on others with possible problems Dozens of officials are still using interim clearances, though Kushner’s is causing significant consternation.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.

The senators specifically asked for guidelines given to the White House regarding the security clearance process, as well as a list of White House officials who have been deemed ineligible for a security clearance , but whose determination was overruled.

Six Democratic senators sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking for the names of all White House staff members with interim security clearances , as well as those with completed background checks who are unable to get full clearances .

"We are deeply concerned that high level officials operating under an interim security clearance, like Jared Kushner, read the President's daily intelligence briefing," the senators wrote.

Democratic lawmakers have frequently raised concerns that Kushner is operating without a full security clearance.

The letter from Democratic senators echoes concerns voiced in a letter sent Tuesday to the FBI from House Democrats.

Both requests come as the White House is embroiled in controversy over its handling of domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter, who was operating on a temporary security clearance.

Wray testified to a Senate panel on Tuesday that the FBI completed its background check investigation of Porter in July, and then offered additional information in November and January.

Why do so many top White House officials lack full security clearances?

  Why do so many top White House officials lack full security clearances? Neither the White House nor the FBI is taking responsibility in the high backlog of security clearancesOn Monday, the White House blamed delays in the security clearance process on the FBI, but in another sign of the strain between the bureau and the White House, the FBI responded in a statement that they just conduct the background check, they don't grant security clearances, reports CBS News' Jeff Pegues.

Kushner is able to view extremely sensitive material with his interim security clearance , Politico The White House told Politico it's "completely normal" for someone to work on a temporary security To get a security clearance , an applicant must complete an SF-86 form and list their foreign contacts.

Top White House Official Under Fire Over Denial of Security Clearance . Why was Ben Rhodes the only applicant out of 187 to be rejected for an interim security clearance ?

Yet Porter did not resign until a photo surfaced last week of his first ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye she said she got from her husband during a vacation in Italy.

The White House has said it did not know of the seriousness of the allegations against Porter until published reports last week, though Wray's testimony suggests people at the White House should have been aware much earlier.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday announced it has launched an investigation into the White House's handling of accusations against Porter, as well as his security clearance.

Another White House official reportedly resigned Wednesday after learning he did not qualify for a full security clearance because he admitted to smoking marijuana in 2013.

WH trying to keep Kushner involved on sensitive issues without Trump's intervention .
<p>The scramble came after chief of staff John Kelly issued a memo declaring the White House will no longer allow some employees with interim security clearances access to top secret information.</p>The scramble came after chief of staff John Kelly issued a memo a week ago declaring the White House will no longer allow some employees with interim security clearances access to top secret information if their background investigation has been pending since before last June — a category Kushner falls into.

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