January 23, 2019 11:21 am -

[Originally posted to NewsJones.]

MSNBC broke the news at 11am: the House Oversight Committee has launched a probe into how the Trump White House handles classified material, with particular regard to the security clearance process.

The House Oversight Committee is launching an investigation into the White House security clearance process, an inquiry that promises to put a spotlight on how President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, overcame concerns to gain access to highly classified information.

“The Committee on Oversight and Reform is launching an in-depth investigation of the security clearance process at the White House and Transition Team in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, said in a letter to the White House obtained by NBC News.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Expect the sound of crickets from the White House lawn for the foreseeable future.

Last February, NBC News reported that more than 130 political appointees working in the Executive Office of the President did not have permanent security clearances as of November 2017, including the president’s daughter, son-in-law and his top legal counsel. Son-in-law Jared Kushner has since obtained a clearance, according to his lawyer, despite reports that he has been targeted for manipulation by foreign governments.

Cummings said he is seeking documents relevant to the NBC news report.

No wonder Trump hates NBC and MSNBC. It’s not just Joe and Mika after all.

Kushner’s clearance was downgraded last February after it emerged that he initially failed to submit required information on his financial disclosure form. He regained a full clearance a few months later, his lawyer said, but White House and CIA officials declined to discuss the circumstances.

The news comes less than half a day after House Democrats announced that several ultra-progressives have been named:

The powerful House Oversight Committee, which is expected to be at the center of investigations into President Donald Trump’s administration, is getting several high-profile young members this Congress, among them freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

The Oversight Committee announced Tuesday that among its new members were Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rep. Ro Khanna of California. Politico first reported the committee appointments.

It is worth noting that Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and has generated palpable energy into the leftward political trajectory of young working-class voters — not just millennials. She will certainly inflame right-wingers, and that is not such a bad thing as it will better identify bigots, sexists, and other enemies of actual modern American values. Expect her to generate some fireworks on Oversight.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.