Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner has reportedly updated his top security clearance to include dozens of foreign contacts he hadn't bothered to mention in the past. The news came just days after it became clear that Kushner was aware of the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer concerning supposedly damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
In spite of supposedly faulty and inadequate registration of details, Kushner had been given top security clearance ever since his father-in-law took office in January. To obtain such high level security clearance, he was required to thoroughly elaborate on encounters with foreign contacts in the past seven years. This was all required in his SF-86 form.
The SF-86 form is a confidential security clearance questionnaire which is mandatory for government workers and military personnel to complete. The form is treated with extreme sensitivity as applicants are implored to answer each and every question with utmost honesty. Furthermore, the questionnaire frequently necessitates explanations for questions on foreign travel and contacts. Anyone and everyone applying for top security clearance, including Kushner, is required to provide accurate and consistent information regarding their foreign contacts in the SF-86 form.
Several months after Trump took office, CNN detailed in April that Kushner reportedly left SF-86's portion regarding foreign contacts blank. Kushner's attorney, Jamie Gorelick, explained that the blank portion was more of an administrative error and called the draft "premature" when it was submitted on Jan. 18. In spite of the blank portion, Kushner received top security clearance. Almost three months after the CNN report, Kushner reportedly updated his clearance form with 100 foreign contacts.
Kushner's updated security clearance form detailed meetings with Russian figures like the ambassador Sergey Kislyak and former Russian military officer Rinat Akhmetshin as well as Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Kushner's meetings with these Russian figures has led critics to voice their concern about the Trump administration's potential involvement with Russia during the presidential race, something Trump has strongly denied.
Even before Kushner updated his form, Democrats were critical of the fact that he received security clearance in the first place. Highlighting Kushner's alleged failure to detail high-level meetings with foreign contacts, Democrats penned a scathing letter to former FBI Director James Comey.
In the letter, they criticized Kushner's alleged "lack of candor" and said that it was a "significant issue for the Trump transition." The signers said that they worried that Kushner may have engaged in "deception" and ultimately requested the suspension of Kushner's clearance until a "review of Mr. Kushner's compliance with the laws and regulation governing security clearances" was made clear.