The attorney who President Trump hired to defend him in various Russia investigations has not sought a security clearance and may have trouble getting one, according to a report Tuesday night.
ProPublica reported that Marc Kasowitz, a New York lawyer, does not have a security clearance that would allow him to access government secrets.
Several lawyers who have represented presidents and government officials said it would be unusual for an attorney serving a client in a case involving classified material, as the Russia probes do, not to have a clearance.
ProPublica says that Kasowitz may not be seeking a security clearance because he is vulnerable to not getting approved due to an alcohol abuse problem.
More than two dozen current and former employees of Kasowitz's firm, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, as well as his friends and acquaintances, told ProPublica that Trump's personal attorney has struggled over time with alcohol abuse, including a stint in rehab in the winter of 2014-15.
The process for obtaining a security clearance involves the government's examining a person's past, and investigators may flag cases that suggest poor judgment.
Kasowitz's spokesman told ProPublica he doesn't need a clearance.
"No one has suggested he requires a security clearance, there has been no need for a security clearance, and we do not anticipate a need for a security clearance," the spokesman said. "If and when a security clearance is needed, Mr. Kasowitz will apply for one with the other members of the legal team."
Kasowitz is not a government employee, but he has taken on a public role in defending Trump, delivering the president's televised response to former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last month.
Kasowitz may not be in the president's good graces anymore, according to a report Tuesday night in The New York Times. As Donald Trump Jr. faces scrutiny over a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer, the president has reportedly expressed his frustration to his team of personal lawyers, which is headed by Kasowitz, which could lay the groundwork for Kasowitz's exit, that report said.