Three Senate Democrats have asked the government watchdog for the intelligence community to look into the security clearance process under the Trump administration.
Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii sent a letter to Wayne Stone, the acting inspector general of the intelligence community, calling for the investigation into the Director of National Intelligence’s “oversight of investigations and determinations of eligibility for access to classified information” for White House staff.
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.
“Members of the Senate have sent several requests for information to the administration seeking clarification on the security clearance review process,” the senators wrote. “We are concerned over the apparently low and inconsistent threshold the Trump White House uses for obtaining an interim security clearance.”
The senators’ request stems from reports about issues with disclosures from Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, both of whom received security clearances and failed to disclose their contacts with Russian officials.
The Democrats wrote that their concerns for the White House’s security clearance procedures were raised again after it was reported Kushner met privately with the Chinese ambassador to the U.S.
“While serving in the White House, Jared Kushner has refused to end his involvement with his extensive private business holdings, which rely on foreign investments, such as Chinese participation in the EB-5 program,” they said. “These financial dealings could potentially expose him to foreign influence concerns.”
In addition to asking the acting inspector general to investigate the White House’s security clearance procedures, the three senators want Stone to determine which White House officials were given interim security clearances, as well as the level of access of information they were granted.
Congressional Democrats have been working to glean more information from the White House about which officials have interim security clearances for several months.