Donald Trump Jr. is receiving a just amount of attention for his role in the meeting with the Kremlin-connected attorney, but he did not act alone.
Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, also attended the meeting, and given his current level of security clearance, is a more problematic character in this story than Trump Jr.
"If this were a normal political world, Jared Kushner wouldn't have a job by the end of today," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) said while speaking on MSNBC. "And at the very least, he should absolutely have his security clearance revoked."
Q: Kushner's security clearance. He should have one, right?— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 13, 2017
MURPHY: "I think the bigger question is why Jared Kushner still has a job." pic.twitter.com/PzktSmV96E
In Trump Jr.'s released emails documenting the lead-up to the meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya to obtain incriminating evidence against Hillary Clinton, he said that former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Kushner both attended the controversial meeting with him. Kushner apparently stayed for only 10 minutes, but those minutes are important to note when we consider the kind of sensitive information he now has access to. Furthermore, he neglected to report this meeting during the process for acquiring national security clearance — it is a felony to intentionally omit information.
The situation becomes even more circumspect considering other pending investigations into Kushner. McClatchy reported that investigators in Congress and the Justice Department are reviewing the possibility that the Trump campaign's digital operation helped guide Russian cyber operatives to specific voting districts in order to target them with damaging fake news stories about Clinton. Kushner was in charge of the digital arm of the campaign.
In addition, Kushner attempted establishing a secret communications channel between the White House and the Kremlin. He pitched it as a way to discuss policy between the two nations, but why a secret channel would be needed for this remains a concerning mystery.
As the details of this latest development in the Trump-Russia saga emerge, Democratic lawmakers are calling not only for further investigation, but demanding that Kushner's security clearance be immediately revoked.
"Don Jr. Manafort & Kushner were all at the same collusion meeting. But only #Kushner has security clearance," wrote Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) on Twitter. "It needs to be suspended NOW."
If the current administration and the Republican Party majority truly considered America's best interests as their top priority, Kushner would be long gone. His part in the Trump Jr.-Russia meeting only compounds his already dubious position in the White House as the president's son-in-law is already under FBI investigation in the ongoing Russia probe. There is far too much at risk for someone as problematic as Kushner to maintain access to critical national intelligence.
If leadership fails to act on the extreme end of caution, this only further jeopardizes the already severely damaged integrity of the Trump administration.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters