Turns out, being the son-in-law of President Donald Trump doesn’t get you as far as you might think. Jared Kushner, the husband of First Daughter Ivanka Trump, just lost his top-secret security clearance, according to Politico. And, interestingly, Ivanka’s level of security clearance now seems to be need-to-know intel.
Bradley Moss, a lawyer specializing in national security law, told People that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s decision to bump Jared from the Top Secret/SCI level to the Secret level will “severely hamper” Jared’s ability to do the job he’s been doing as a White House senior advisor.
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“It’s difficult to envision a way in which he can serve as the equivalent of a diplomatic envoy with only access to Secret information,” the lawyer explained. “He won’t be privy to the full range of intelligence on the various foreign officials involved in the discussions, nor will he likely be able to learn about most raw intelligence gathered through intelligence intercepts.”
But Jared’s downgrade might not affect his wife’s security clearance. “Ivanka’s clearance will be evaluated [independently to] that of Jared’s, although there is overlap between the two from the substantive standpoint,” Mark Zaid, another national security attorney, told People. And we’ll only know whether her clearance has taken a hit if someone leaks intel from the West Wing. “We shouldn’t know any of this,” Zaid added. “All of this is privacy protected and either the White House has to make an affirmative decision to release it, [Jared’s] lawyers have to make a decision, or Ivanka’s or someone is leaking it, which has mostly been the case.”
Meanwhile, Democrats have been working to get Ivanka’s security clearance revoked for months — ever since it became public that she used her private email account for government business and that she and Jared missed deadlines to file financial disclosure forms. “Recent press investigations highlight severe credibility issues with Ivanka Trump, a White House official, close advisor, and daughter to the President,” Representatives Ted Lieu and Don Beyer wrote in a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn in October, according to the Los Angeles Times. Ivanka better be careful. Clearly, Chief of Staff John Kelly doesn’t mess around when it comes to national security.