The committee, led by Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, sent a letter in June to the White House and the FBI asking for a detailed list of questions about Kushner’s security clearance form, which he has had to amend multiple times because of his initial failure to disclose meetings with foreign officials. In response, Kushner’s outside attorney sent the panel a letter, but the White House has not yet responded to the panel’s queries despite a July 6 deadline set by a bipartisan group of senators.
The committee’s spokesman, George Hartmann, told CNN Friday that the response from Kushner’s attorney does not satisfy the panel’s request for information from the White House.
“The committee is appreciative of the response we have gotten so far from Mr. Kushner’s attorney,” Hartmann said. “But the committee still does expect the White House to reply to its questions about Mr. Kushner’s security clearance, and to provide answers to the requested questions of the SF-86,” referring to the questionnaire applicants fill out for security clearances.
A White House spokesman declined to comment.
The spotlight over Kushner’s security clearance form has become a focus in the Russia investigation as congressional committees try to determine whether any inappropriate meetings or contacts occurred between Russian officials and Trump associates during the campaign season.
Kushner was asked about his security clearance form on Capitol Hill during two separate classified appearances last month, and said that the initial failure to detail his meetings was an inadvertent mistake that has since been corrected. Kushner told Congress he had more than 100 contacts with representatives from over 20 countries during the campaign season and transition period, according to a prepared statement he made public.
In the letter from the Senate judiciary committee, the leaders asked for information about the status of the security clearance, including the dates when “major decisions” about the form were made. The panel also asks whether Trump or any White House official intervened during the background check process on Kushner’s behalf. Moreover, the committee leaders also ask the White House and FBI to produce key sections of the SF-86 form, including Kushner’s answers about whether he had any “continuing contact” with a foreign national or offered any advice or support to a foreign government official and his list of all contacts he had with a foreign official over the past seven years.
In his statement to Congress last month, Kushner downplayed the significance of those meetings, saying they occurred during the normal course of a campaign and transition period.
“With respect to my contacts with Russia or Russian representatives during the campaign, there were hardly any,” Kushner said.