Connolly Requests Emergency Hearing on Kushner Trip To Mexico

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Washington, March 8, 2018 | comments

Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Vice Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today requested that Chairman Trey Gowdy call an emergency hearing on White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner’s trip to Mexico.

“I write to express my grave concerns regarding Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, and request that you convene an emergency hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee on his inability to obtain a permanent security clearance and conflicts of interest. Further, I respectfully request that you issue a Committee subpoena to compel his appearance and testimony,” Connolly wrote.

“Security clearances are squarely within the jurisdiction of our Committee, and concerns about Mr. Kushner’s tenure in the White House warrant our immediate attention,” Connolly added. “In light of his trip to Mexico where he will lead a delegation tasked with sensitive discussions on security, immigration, and trade relations between the United States and Mexico, I respectfully request that you convene an emergency hearing to examine Mr. Kushner’s conflicts of interest.”

“Absent a hearing that includes Mr. Kushner’s testimony under oath, we can only guess why the FBI and White House have substantial concerns about Mr. Kushner’s access to our nation’s secrets. However, we do know that Mr. Kushner has repeatedly made false representations of his personal financial information and his contacts with agents of foreign governments on his security clearance application. As a consequence of his glaring omissions if not his deliberate obfuscation, he has been fined and forced to amend his security clearance information on several occasions,” wrote Connolly.

Full text of the letter follows and is available here:

 

 

March 7, 2018

 

The Honorable Trey Gowdy
Chairman
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

I write to express my grave concerns regarding Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, and request that you convene an emergency hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee on his inability to obtain a permanent security clearance and conflicts of interest. Further, I respectfully request that you issue a Committee subpoena to compel his appearance and testimony.

There have been recent reports that Mr. Kushner may have used his position at the White House to benefit his family’s business interests and that countries may be using his business debts to gain leverage with this Administration. Mr. Kushner also has a well-documented record of misrepresenting his personal financial information and foreign contacts in his effort to obtain a permanent security clearance. In blatant disregard of these red flags, the White House provided Mr. Kushner with access to our nation’s most sensitive national security secrets for more than a year – a subject I know you care about deeply.

Last week, the Washington Post reported that officials in at least four countries have discussed ways they can take advantage of Mr. Kushner’s complex business arrangements, financial difficulties, and lack of foreign experience. These countries, which include the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel, and Mexico, believe that they can use the Kushner family’s search for investors in the Kushner Company’s troubled real estate assets as a point of leverage with this Administration. Given this news, it is beyond troubling that the White House tapped Mr. Kushner to lead a U.S. delegation to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto this very week.

Additionally, the New York Times has reported that Mr. Kushner’s family business received large loans after he met with Citigroup and the private equity firm Apollo. The Times reported that in the spring of 2017, shortly after Mr. Kushner met with Citigroup’s chief executive in the White House, the Kushner Company received a $325 million loan to help finance a group of office buildings in Brooklyn. The Committee cannot accept at face value that this loan went through the standard approval process. We should also not assume that it was just a coincidence that Kushner Companies received a $184 million loan to refinance the mortgage on a Chicago skyscraper after Mr. Kushner met several times with the founder of Apollo Global Management. The Committee must hold hearings and investigate to what extent Mr. Kushner used his role as Senior Advisor to the President to obtain financial and other assistance for his family’s business.

There is widespread concern among the United States Government and the White House regarding Mr. Kushner’s access to sensitive national security information. Mr. Kushner’s background check for his security clearance has remained unresolved for more than a year. As a result, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been unable to grant Mr. Kushner a permanent security clearance. In a similarly ominous move, the White House recently downgraded Mr. Kushner’s security clearance. Absent a hearing that includes Mr. Kushner’s testimony under oath, we can only guess why the FBI and White House have substantial concerns about Mr. Kushner’s access to our nation’s secrets. However, we do know that Mr. Kushner has repeatedly made false representations of his personal financial information and his contacts with agents of foreign governments on his security clearance application. As a consequence of his glaring omissions if not his deliberate obfuscation, he has been fined and forced to amend his security clearance information on several occasions.

Security clearances are squarely within the jurisdiction of our Committee, and concerns about Mr. Kushner’s tenure in the White House warrant our immediate attention. In light of his trip to Mexico where he will lead a delegation tasked with sensitive discussions on security, immigration, and trade relations between the United States and Mexico, I respectfully request that you convene an emergency hearing to examine Mr. Kushner’s conflicts of interest. Silence in the face of the troubling issues raised by Mr. Kushner’s presence and behavior in the White House suggests a glaring double standard with respect to how we approach oversight and a woeful dereliction of our constitutional responsibilities. I appreciate your urgent attention to this matter.

Best Regards,

 

Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress
11th District, Virginia

 


 

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