In late Feburary, the New York Times reported that President Donald Trump ordered government officials to give his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance against the wishes of top national security experts, including the CIA:
“Mr. Trump’s decision in May so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the White House chief of staff at the time, John F. Kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been ‘ordered’ to give Mr. Kushner the top-secret clearance.”
It should be noted that Trump, as president, has the right to declassify any piece of information he wishes and share it with whoever he chooses. That’s one of the perks of the office, though it’s highly unusual for any president to go against his national security advisers on such sensitive matters.
But the Times report is especially bad news for Ivanka Trump, who, like Kushner, serves as an adviser to the president.
Why is it so bad for Ivanka? Well, consider what she said on the matter during an interview with ABC News:
“The president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband’s clearance, zero.”
EXCLUSIVE: Ivanka Trump says she and her husband Jared Kushner received no special treatment from her father when obtaining their top security clearances.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 8, 2019
Some Trump supporters are already claiming Ivanka simply told a “little white lie,” but it could wind up placing her in extreme legal jeopardy with Congressional investigators.
A few weeks ago, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter to the White House in which he all but demanded “full and immediate compliance” with requests for information he and others in Congress have been asking to see for over two years now on the matter of Kushner’s top-secret clearance. And if Cummings doesn’t get that information voluntarily, rest assured he’ll issue a subpoena.
Here’s what’s about to happen: There are going to be public hearings from multiple Congressional committees, and both Ivanka and Jared will be called to testify. If they refuse, they too will be issued subpoenas. If they choose to lie during their testimony, they can be charged with perjury. Both of them will also be asked about their connections to countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia, which could then open up a new can of worms neither wants to have exposed to the light of day due to the legal and national security ramifications of those ties.
Ivanka’s white lie could wind up costing her and Jared their freedom, and it may also become yet another charge added to the articles of impeachment against her father.