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Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi

Representing the 8th District of Illinois

Congressmen Krishnamoorthi And DeSaulnier Urge White House To Consider Kushner’s Inordinate Vulnerability To Foreign Influence In Reevaluating His Security Clearance

February 23, 2018
Press Release

SCHAUMBURG, IL — Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Mark DeSaulnier of the Oversight Committee wrote to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly yesterday to carefully consider Counselor to the President Jared Kushner’s immense financial vulnerabilities to foreign influence as part of the Administration’s reexamination of security clearances. Congressman Krishnamoorthi released the following statement:

“As details of the immense debt carried by Kushner Companies continue to emerge, Jared Kushner’s continued presence in the West Wing presents an enormous counterintelligence vulnerability. Yesterday, I urged White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to carefully consider Mr. Kushner’s financial vulnerabilities when evaluating his ability to receive a full security clearance. Today, I am calling on General Kelly to confirm the policy he announced in his memo of February 16: ‘Effective one week from today, discontinue any Top Secret or SCI-level interim clearances for individuals whose investigations or adjudications have been pending since June 1, 2017 or before.’

General Kelly needs to clarify immediately if Jared Kushner still has access to Top Secret or SCI-level material. If this is the case, he needs to make clear why this policy has changed.”

 

The text of the letter to General Kelly from Congressmen Krishnamoorthi and DeSaulnier follows.

 

 

22 February, 2018

General John Kelly

White House Chief of Staff

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear General Kelly,

In light of reports that Vornado Realty Trust will be selling its 49.5% stake in the Kushner Companies’ office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue, I write to ask that you consider this with the utmost seriousness as you consider Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner’s ability to retain an interim security clearance.

According to the attached story, the Kushner Company has been in partnership talks with organizations ranging from the Chinese firm Anbang Insurance Group to Qatari royal Hamad bin Jassim to take over the Vornado Realty Trust’s stake[1]. According to experts, investors who would invest in a building like 666 Fifth Avenue would be sovereign wealth funds[2] or foreign private investors. While Mr. Kushner has reportedly sold his personal stake in the tower, his familial ties to the business still raise serious concerns; the Senate Intelligence Committee has already inquired whether Mr. Kushner’s contacts with foreign nationals during the 2016 Presidential Election had any connection with his real estate business and with the 666 Fifth Avenue property.

In light of this information, I am concerned that the ongoing partnership talks present the potential for undue foreign influence of Mr. Kushner’s work in the White House. Again, I urge you to consider this information with the utmost care when evaluating Mr. Kushner’s access to highly sensitive materials.

 

Sincerely,

Raja Krishnamoorthi                                                                                         Mark DeSaulnier

Member of Congress                                                                                        Member of Congress

 

The signed letter is viewable here

 

[1] “Can Vornado find a buyer at 666 Fifth?”, The Real Deal, 15 February 2018

[2] A State-owned investment fund that invest in real estate or financial assets