Congressman Krishnamoorthi Calls for Suspension of Jared Kushner's Security Clearance and for Kushner to Testify Before the Oversight Committee
SCHAUMBURG, IL – Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, a member of the House Oversight Committee, released the following statement in response to reports that Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner had undisclosed contacts with the Russian Ambassador, both during and after the campaign, and that in a December meeting with Ambassador Kislyak and Michael Flynn, Kushner suggested setting up a backchannel with Russian encryption, in effect, hiding it from the American intelligence community:
“Reports have emerged of Mr. Kushner’s undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador during and after the campaign, most notably his desire to use Russian communication systems to establish secret communications with the Kremlin that would be hidden from American intelligence agencies. In response to these incredibly disturbing allegations, I’m calling for Mr. Kushner’s security clearance to be suspended, for all documents related to these meetings to be subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee, and for Mr. Kushner to testify publicly and under oath as to what actually occurred.
Some in the Trump administration have already dismissed questions around a backchannel and having multiple lines of communication with a foreign power by arguing that these relationships exist with other nations. This argument ignores the most disturbing allegations being reported.
The issue is not simply that Mr. Kushner wanted a communication backchannel; it’s that Mr. Kushner sought to pursue one with a hostile power months after American intelligence agencies had collectively acknowledged the Kremlin’s cyberwarfare against the United States. Mr. Kushner allegedly sought to arrange communications with the Kremlin through the same Russian diplomatic and intelligence community that led cyber assaults on the United States, effectively hiding these communications from American intelligence agencies in the process.
The Trump administration has also argued for the innocence of Mr. Kushner’s secret meetings with the Russian government. That narrative would be more believable if Mr. Kushner and General Michael Flynn, who was present during the meeting in which backchannels with the Kremlin were reportedly discussed, had not omitted the existence of these conversations with the Russian government from their security clearance applications on their foreign interactions. Both Mr. Kushner, and General Flynn omitted contacts with the Russian government from their SF-86 forms, applications for security clearances to permit access to some of our nation’s most protected secrets.
To put it simply, Mr. Kushner allegedly sought to establish secret communications with the Kremlin that could be hidden from the American intelligence community but not their Russian counterparts, and then he did not disclose this meeting on his application to access our national secrets.
These allegations are deeply disturbing and have been corroborated by more news organizations since the story first broke last night. Mr. Kushner’s security clearance should be immediately suspended as investigations into this matter must begin. The White House must turn all documents relevant to Mr. Kushner’s and General Flynn’s meetings with the Russian government over to the Oversight Committee and both Mr. Kushner and General Flynn must testify publicly under oath.”