A year ago, you barely knew who Jared Kushner was. Most of you would probably rather that was still the case.
Instead, you have been treated to nearly 365 days of the kind of intrigue, drama, and cloak-and-dagger nonsense that could only accompany the ascension of a robber baron to the presidency. And along with that Captain of Industry, that Magnate of Money, comes his family, and along with them, their families. And so when just under a quarter of America turned the insufferable Donald Trump into the insufferable President Trump, they inadvertently elected Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and of course – smarter than any of his own children – Jared Kushner. The son Donald always wanted.
How do I know he wishes Jared was his actual son? I mean, aside from whatever creepy thing is in his head with family closeness and his oldest daughter. It’s that Jared Kushner has been enjoying an all-access pass to the upper echelons of government – full access to the White House itself, along with pay and responsibilities – without having the proper security clearance.
And now, after a year, absolutely nothing has changed.
Jared Kushner, who has “amended” his applications for security clearance more than three dozen times because he “forgot” to include information on secret meetings with Russians, money invested in conflicts of interest, and holdings overseas that could present security risks, still does not have the clearance that an employee of the White House is required to have.
How can he work there, you ask? That’s a great question. But – and undoubtedly is too soft a word, but we’ll use it anyway – undoubtedly much of it is just plain special treatment. “Privilege” that comes with being the president’s son-in-law. He’s had so much access that he’s been called to meet with investigators because of his inside knowledge — knowledge that should have required security clearance to get in the first place.
Oh, the White House says it’s totally normal, that extra-heavy-duty clearance like what Jared would require to, say, be in charge of brokering peace in the Middle East just takes longer. It can take up to 300 days, they tell us. But it’s now been more than 20 percent longer than that. In fact, Jordan Libowitz, the comms director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), says that it’s completely abnormal:
Jared has had issues with accuracy, both in his security clearance forms and financial disclosures. He’s had to amend his forms to add quite a few contacts with Russians, and he’s amended his financial disclosures 39 times. One or two times, no one would bat an eye, but this is unprecedented.”
Unprecedented as in, he would be fired if he wasn’t married to Ivanka. Period.
In a new report from Newsweek, Summer Meza writes:
Legal experts specializing in security clearance law told Newsweek that Kushner’s clearance should be suspended until investigators can determine whether his failures to include dozens of Russian contacts on his forms constitutes an intentional false statement—a chargeable offense.”
So when will Jared actually be cleared to do the job he’s been doing for 362 days? Not anytime soon, I’d wager.
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images