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Monday, December 09, 2019

New Report: Kushner May Have Lied To Congress About Security Clearance

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

With the investigatory power of the House of Representatives, Democrats have a long list of probes of the Trump administration that they plan to pursue. For many, the White House’s shady behavior around security clearances — particularly for President Donald Trump’s family — is near the top of the list.

And according to a new report from PunditFact on Tuesday, it appears there is significant evidence suggesting Jared Kushner may have already lied to Congress about his security clearance application — which could constitute a crime. PunditFact noted that it came across a key discrepancy when reviewing his past statements on the matter.

Kushner’s security clearance first raised suspicions because he initially turned it in without listing any foreign contacts — of which he had more than 100.

PunditFact noted:

While Kushner was prompt in notifying investigators about his omission, it appears he only gave the FBI a list of foreign contacts after reports in the press revealed his failure to do so.

In a statement to Congress, however, Kushner created a different impression.

“I provided a list of those contacts in the normal course, before my background investigation interview, and prior to any inquiries or media reports about my form,” Kushner said.

On April 6, 2017, the New York Times published a report with the headline “Kushner Omitted Meeting With Russians on Security Clearance Forms.” CNN matched the New York Times later that day with a report titled, “Kushner hasn’t yet detailed foreign contacts for security clearance.”

However, PunditFact noted that at least two reports found that Kushner didn’t actually update his list of foreign contacts until mid-May of 2017, well after the press raised questions about it. If he was purposely trying to deceive Congress about this matter, he could be guilty of a federal crime — the same crime charged against Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen and Trump ally Roger Stone.

The report also noted that even at Kushner’s reported revisions in May, the president’s son-in-law didn’t reveal the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton in June 2016. He reportedly disclosed it in June 2017, when reporters began to dig up information about it and Donald Trump Jr. subsequently released the details of the meeting.

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