New legislation would rein in on top security clearances
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Mar 06, 2019
A bill introduced by a Florida lawmaker would revoke the security clearance of any White House employee who received the clearance under certain false pretenses.
The White House Security Clearance Accountability Act, introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), specifically revokes the security clearances of White House employees who lied about contacts with foreign nationals on their security clearance forms, and anyone under investigation by a federal law enforcement agency for aiding a foreign government.
Reports that President Trump ordered his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to be granted a top-secret security clearance over the objections of official intelligence experts, prompted the legislation.
Other reports indicate that Trump made similar requests for his daughter, Ivanka, Kusherner’s husband.
CNN reported the president pressured his staff to grant Ivanka a permanent security clearance, against recommendations from his then-chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn.
“This latest news report, if true, is yet another dangerous example of the President’s flagrant disregard for our national security,” Wasserman Schultz said in a press release. “The President continues to jeopardize our national security in service of his own personal interests. Congress must now act to create explicit laws ensuring the personal interests of a President do not overrule extremely basic national security protocols.”
Schultz bill would also prevent the issuance or renewal of security clearances under such circumstances, and would require the Government Accountability Office to submit a report to Congress detailing any instance since January 20, 2017 in which a White House official received a security clearance over the objection of career security staff.
She added that the White House Security Clearance Accountability Act is a necessary and urgent step to address this critical national issue, continuing, “Nepotism should never override national security,” Wasserman Schultz said.
View the press release here.