Jared Kushner Must Resign. If He Will Not, He Should Be Fired.
Washington, July 10, 2017
Following Donald Trump Jr.’s statement that he, former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, and Trump son-in-law and Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner met in June of 2016 with a Russian lawyer connected to Vladimir Putin for the purpose of receiving damaging information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today issued the following statement:
“Jared Kushner is a Senior Adviser to the President of the United States, and as such should be held to the highest ethical standard. Instead he has engaged in conduct which would have resulted in termination for any federal employee who was not specifically protected by the President, who also happens to be his father-in-law.
Donald Trump Jr. confirmed that he secretly met during the presidential campaign with a Russian lawyer tied to Putin, ostensibly to receive damaging information from Russia on his father’s political opponent, Secretary Hillary Clinton. He further confirmed that Jared Kushner was present at this meeting.
Whether we believe Trump’s Jr.’s claim that Kushner did not know the meeting’s purpose beforehand is immaterial. The fact that Jared Kushner initially omitted this meeting from his SF-86, and only disclosed it after coming under considerable scrutiny, implies that he knew something untoward had happened. Kushner should have immediately reported this attempt by a foreign adversary to interfere in the U.S. election to the FBI.
Instead, the country learned of the meeting for the first time from a newspaper report over a year later. During that year, U.S. intelligence concluded with high confidence that Putin directed Russian intervention in the U.S. presidential election. Kushner remained silent. Members of the Trump Administration, including Trump and Vice President Pence, denied any contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Kushner failed to report the meeting on his SF-86 security clearance form.
Kushner should not be permitted access to classified material, he should not be empowered to conduct official business on behalf of the American people, and he should not be allowed to continue in any capacity as a counselor to the President.
He has irrevocably betrayed the public trust. Jared Kushner must resign. If he will not, he should be fired.”
Rep. Don Beyer and four other Representatives asked the Administration to suspend Jared Kushner’s security clearance in April, following the news that he had omitted meetings with Russian officials from his SF-86 form.
In May, he led over 50 Members of Congress in calling for immediate revocation of Kushner’s security clearance following revelations that the Special Prosecutor was investigating Kushner’s meetings with Russian officials.
In September of 2000, former Rep. Tom Downey, an adviser to Vice President Gore’s presidential campaign, was mailed debate preparation materials from the George W. Bush campaign. He immediately notified the FBI, which conducted an investigation, and recused himself from further debate preparation activities.