Capitol Hill intelligence committees need to grill former White House chief of staff John Kelly after the latest reports on the scandal over Jared Kushner's security clearance, a conservative columnist argued on Friday.
"President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer," The New York Times reported Thursday.
Kelly was so worried about the decision that he wrote to contemporaneous memo to memorialize his views of the unprecedented action.
"Trump’s decision in May so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the White House chief of staff at the time, John F. Kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” to give Mr. Kushner the top-secret clearance," The Times reported.
Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin was outraged to learn of report and explained why in The Washington Post.
"This raises two main questions: Why didn’t the intelligence professionals want to give him a security clearance? Second, how bad is this?" she wondered.
"The first question raises the issue as to whether Kushner was compromised and therefore shouldn’t have gotten a clearance. Prior reports revealed officials from four foreign countries believed he could be manipulated because of his financial situation. Congress needs to determine whether this was the root of the problem," Rubin noted.
"So how bad is this? Well, that depends in part on why the clearance was denied by professional intelligence personnel and why they all lied about it," she explained.
Rubin laid out a path forward for Congressional investigators.
"Kushner needs to be questioned under oath, and all relevant documents need to be reviewed to determine whether he used information he has clearance for to advance his personal business interests and/or use to trade in exchange for financial favors from foreign governments," she noted.
"Everyone involved, including Kelly, should be dragged behind closed doors and grilled until we get to the bottom of this," she added.
Read the full column.