Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, has been granted his permanent security clearance, a person briefed on the matter said on Wednesday, ending a period of uncertainty that had fueled questions about whether Kushner was in peril in the special counsel investigation. That led to a White House policy overhaul in February that significantly downgraded access to sensitive information for Kushner and other Trump administration officials on interim clearances.
Kushner also obtained a permanent security clearance more than a year into his work in the White House, his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said Wednesday.
Kushner is set to regain top security clearance, and has been interviewed by Mueller about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Lowell, in a statement, said Kushner has cooperated fully with the investigation, including sitting for two interviews with the special counsel's office.
"A year ago, Jared was one of the first to voluntarily cooperate with any investigation into the 2017 campaign and related topics", Lowell said. But attorney Edward MacMahon, who specializes in national security matters, suggested that the FBI would not have signed off on such a clearance if Kushner was a target of a ongoing criminal investigation. The interview did not deal with Kushner's finances or his companies, Lowell said. "Since then, he has continued this complete cooperation, providing a large number of documents and sitting for hours of interview with congressional committees and providing numerous documents and sitting for two interviews with the Office of Special Counsel". He said career staff at the White House and in an intelligence agency, typically the CIA, generally make the decisions about restoring a clearance. This meant he was allowed to view classified information while his background check was pending.
Some had expected Kushner might not receive a permanent clearance for the duration of Mueller's investigation.
Kushner's initial SF-86 form did not mention any foreign contacts, though he quickly supplemented it to indicate that he would provide that information. He updated the form in the spring, listing about 100 contacts, but did not mention the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting he attended with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Donald Trump Jr., and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.