Jared Kushner now has permanent security clearance

A. Pineiro  CC BY 2.0

A. Pineiro CC BY 2.0

Jared Kushner, who is leading a White House effort to jump-start peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, has been granted security clearance after operating for months without it, U.S. media outlets reported on Wednesday.

After it became clear that Kushner had actually met with many foreign officials during the presidential campaign, however, he amended his form to reflect more than 100 contacts.

Chief of staff John Kelly shook up the clearance process at the time following the resignation of former White House aide Rob Porter, who maintained the check after he was accused of physically assaulting several past spouses.

The wealthy NY real estate developer had to refile the national security questionnaire required of all prospective White House employees after making a number of omissions.

Lowell stated that Kushner had fully cooperated and answered "all questions" put to him by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team. That first session was reportedly limited to questions about former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, who later was charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The delay in Kushner's case was caused by a backlog in the new administration and Kushner's extensive financial wealth, which required lengthy review, Lowell said.

"Since then, he has continued this complete cooperation, providing a large number of documents and sitting for hours of interviews with congressional committees and providing numerous documents and sitting for two interviews with the office of special counsel", he added.

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Mr Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell said in a statement that "Mr Kushner's application was properly submitted, reviewed by numerous career officials and underwent the normal process".

Lowell said that Kushner a year ago became "one of the first to voluntarily cooperate with any investigation into the 2016 campaign and related topics".

"They talk about stories about him being under investigation for his finances, for his role in his companies - let me tell you, those were not the topics", he said.

Kushner's clearance has been contested over the last few months after he was stripped of his credentials in February. That meant Kushner was able to see information only at the lower "secret" level, but not highly classified information.

Kushner serves as a senior adviser on the Middle East and other issues. This caps a almost 18- month review of his security application, which was held up after Kushner failed to disclose contacts he had with foreign officials - including Russians - as required by law.

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