(Sunrise, Fla.) – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) will file the White House Security Clearance Accountability Act when she returns to Washington D.C. next week to address threats posed by President Trump’s troubling direction to approve a family member for a top-level security clearance, despite the warnings and objections of career experts in the intelligence field.
The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump ordered his son-in-law Jared Kushner to be granted a top-secret security clearance over the objections of official intelligence experts, despite earlier White House denials. The White House Security Clearance Accountability Act would revoke the security clearance of any White House employee 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. It would also prevent the issuance or renewal of security clearances under such circumstances. Finally, it would require the Government Accountability Office—Congress’ independent, non-partisan watchdog—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.
“This latest news report, if true, is yet another dangerous example of the President’s flagrant disregard for our national security,” Wasserman Schultz said. “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. That is why I am introducing the White House Security Clearance Accountability Act.”
While testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last week, Michael Cohen told the Committee that it was possible that the Trump family was conflicted or compromised with a foreign adversary in the months before the 2016 election, due to their involvement in the Russian Trump tower deal. Democrats have been trying to address this concern for years. Wasserman Schultz pushed for amendments in the 2017 Appropriations process to revoke Jared Kushner’s security clearance. The White House Security Clearance Accountability Act is a necessary and urgent step to address this critical national issue.
“Nepotism should never override national security,” Wasserman Schultz said.