President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been granted a permanent security clearance, allowing him access to the nation's most closely held secrets, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday.
According to The New York Times, Kushner was issued permanent security clearance by career staffers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, after the investigative agency completed its background check against the president's son-in-law.
The White House defended the drawn-out process, claiming it wasn't unusual with Kushner's complicated financial history and contacts with numerous foreign officials.
He was the most high-profile of several top White House staffers caught in the aftermath of a scandal involving Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary accused by former wives of domestic violence.
Lowell said Kushner has been voluntarily cooperating with Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
He said his client was "looking forward to continuing to do the work the president has asked him to do".
Kushner and several other White House employees were working under provisional clearances that allowed them to see classified material while the Federal Bureau of Investigation checks were under way.
Jared Kushner walks out after President Trump spoke at the White House on May 18.
The granting of the security clearance suggests that investigators' scrutiny of Kushner has decreased significantly. Like the president, Kushner was previously a wealthy real estate magnate and headed up his family's company.
The permanent security clearance for Kushner had been pending since previous year. Those clearances were stripped in February under a new White House policy, it added.
When Trump took office past year, Kushner was granted interim clearance which allowed him to handle classified information while his background check was ongoing.
The second interview occurred in April and concerned potential influence by foreign governments, including Russian Federation, and the firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, among other topics, Lowell said on CNN. "In each occasion, he answered all questions asked and did whatever he could to expedite the conclusion of all the investigations". At one point, the White House had dozens of employees awaiting permanent clearances before Chief of Staff John F. Kelly ordered an overhaul of the process.
Initially, Kushner did not list his foreign contacts on the form, though he submitted an addendum indicating he was willing to detail them. Kushner updated the SF-86 forms once more in June to include that meeting.