Trump adviser Jared Kushner gets permanent security clearance

Jared Kushner receives permanent security clearance, ending uncertainty over his status

The White House defended the lengthy process for issuing a permanent clearance to Kushner, citing the senior adviser's myriad business dealings and complicated finances.

Kushner lost his access to the country's deepest secrets when White House chief of staff John Kelly downgraded Kushner's clearance due to questions that arose during Kushner's background briefing. Kushner had reportedly been operating on an interim clearance for more than a year, while he managed a vast portfolio ranging from relations with Mexico to Middle East peace.

Even though there have been many questions about Kushner's foreign contacts and business dealings over the last few months, his lawyer insists that the clearance process wasn't delayed because of the Russian Federation special counsel investigation. Current and former law enforcement officials said it would be very unusual for someone to get a full security clearance if there were an ongoing criminal investigation that had the potential to result in charges against that person.

The New York Times was first to report Kushner's permanent clearance. "On each occasion, he answered all questions asked and did everything he could to expedite the conclusion of all the investigations".

According to a person familiar with the situation, Kushner was interviewed for a second time by the Mueller team in the second week of April. "Since then, he has continued this complete cooperation, providing a large number of documents and sitting for hours of interview with congressional committees and providing numerous documents and sitting for two interviews with the Office of Special Counsel". He updated the form in the spring, listing about 100 contacts, but did not mention the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting he attended with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Donald Trump Jr., and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

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He was the most high-profile of several top White House staffers caught in the aftermath of a scandal involving Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary accused by former wives of domestic violence.

That hurdle caused part of the delay in finalizing Kushner's clearance, the official said Wednesday. This meant he was allowed to view classified information while his background check was pending.

Kushner had to file three updates to his national security questionnaire, a form that guides the Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and asks for information about a person's employment history, finances, family, travel and other matters.

Kushner's application had been beset by multiple revisions and previously undisclosed contacts with foreign individuals.

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