originally posted by: JBurns
Kushner's security clearance was revoked last year, and he was downgraded to an interim secret level clearance. However, after voluntarily
interviewing with Mueller twice, not only was Kushner not indicted/implicated in any crimes, but his permanent security clearance came through,
and was upgraded to TOP SECRET
Yes, this means Kushner will not be indicted. There is absolutely zero chance his clearance would've been allowed to go through if this was even a
I don’t know what levels of clearance you may have or may have had in the past, but in my 35+ year career with the government, I went from an
initial, plain vanilla “Secret” clearance to an eventual TS with various high level caveats attached. Every time I got a higher clearance, my
security specialist would take me aside and systematically explain where the authority for the clearance came from and what it allowed and required me
to do and not do. After about 35 years of this experience, I think I have a pretty good idea of how it works.
To keep it simple and non-confrontional, I will just say that it doesn’t work like you (and a fair number of other “experts” on the blogosphere
think it does.
The first thing to understand is that there are at least 3 different main security communities at play and each one has its own rules for admission.
Being admitted into one of them may or may not mean anything about being admitted to others.
The first one is the category of what historically were called “Military Secrets” and/or “State Secrets”. This category constitutes the
Confidential/Secret/Top Secret clearances that everyone seems to know about. The authority to grant clearances for access to C/S/TS material resides
in the POTUS and comes directly from the Constitution. Basically, the POTUS is both the commander in chief of the military and the chief diplomat in
dealing with foreign governments. In those capacities, the POTUS is allowed to both create and keep official secrets. George Washington was the first
POTUS to use this authority and it has been used by every President since that time. The POTUS can (and historicaly has) set the standards for
defining exactly what information qualifies for the different classifications and who qualifies for the different clearance levels. It’s customary
for applicants for C/S/TS clearance to go through a standard Background Investigation, after which a clearance is granted. However, the POTUS can
summarily grant a C/S/TS clearance to anyone he wants to. As I understand it, members of Congress are automatically given a Secret clearance upon
election and without a Background Investigation.
Apparently, Jared Kushner was given a provisional TS on the first day he showed up. That’s not uncommon, but it is uncommon for the final
determination to take more than a year, especially when he was the President’s son in law. So, in order to play by the book, the White House staff
decided to withdraw his provisional TS until such time as his Background Investigation was completed. Apparently, that happened a few weeks ago and
so now his TS clearance is fully legitimate. That’s all well and good.
However, there are two additional security communities that sometimes come into play. One of those is the Atomic Energy community and the other is
the Intelligence Community. Access to atomic energy secrets are protected by the Atomic Energy Act of 1946. That law gave control of all data
regarding Atomic Weapons (Restricted Data) to the Atomic Energy Commision. The POTUS can not have access to Restricted Data without the permission of
the head of the Atomic Energy community. That particular fact is not of significance here; I only mention it to establish the fact that the POTUS
doesn’t automatically have access to all classified information, anywhere in the government, and that that is perfectly in accordance with US
Of more relevance here, is the fact that the National Security Act of 1947 established a similar treatment of Intelligence Community secrets and gave
it to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). Those secrets are referred to as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). The POTUS doesn’t
control access to SCI, just like he doesn’t control access to RD. I believe that after the reorganization of the US National Security Community
after 9/11, access to SCI is now controlled by the DNI. When the POTUS wants access to SCI for either himself or an employee (like Jared) he has to
request it from the DNI. The DNI, under law, has to go through a standardized process and—at the end of the day— has to certify that the
individual is not a threat to national security. The Background Investigation for SCI is separate from the BI for TS. In order to qualify for an SCI
clearance, you have to maintain a TS clearance and—in addition—pass the special Investigation for SCI. The BI for SCI involves not only
investigation of the individual, but also of the applicant’s extended family. The idea is to dig out any foreign entanglements that could be used
to compromise the applicant.
Ironically, what this means is that when Trump requested SCI clearances for Jared or Ivanka back at the beginning of his administration, the
Intelligence Community immediately had permission to start investigating Trump’s overseas activities.
So, currently, Jared has a final TS, but has no access to SCI, and won’t unless Dan Coats decides to grant it.
In any case, having a TS clearance means absolutely nothing regarding whether someone may or may not be arrested for a crime in the near future.
I had a colleague who had a TS/SCI/ RD clearance who had been turned by an agent of a hostile foreign power. He was at his desk working when the FBI
showed up and escorted him to what ended up being his cell, for the rest of his life. General Flynn had high level clearances when he was arrested.
I’m not predicting that Jared WILL be arrested, but there’s nothing to prevent that from happening, just because he recently received a clearance