Whatever Vanky Wants, Vanky Gets! And What Vanky Wants Is CLASSIFIED DATA.
Clutch the imitation pearls made in a Chinese sweatshop, y'all! Looks like Ivanka Trump might have told us some more fibs. Remember last week when we found out that her husband Jared's security clearance did not, in fact, go through regular channels as we'd long been assured by his lawyer Abbe Lowell? Well! Last month, the lovely Mrs. Kushner sat down with Ambassador John Huntsman's daughter Abby on ABC to set the record ... umm, crooked.
(Also, the world's most famous nepotism hire is laundering a lie through the daughter of a guy who works for her father? Fire the writers!)
Turns out, not only was Ivanka lying about her husband sailing through the clearance process on his dubious merits, she was also lying about her own "regular" approval as well. CNN reports:
President Donald Trump pressured his then-chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn to grant his daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump a security clearance against their recommendations, three people familiar with the matter told CNN.
The CIA and career security officials agreed that NFW!!! should Jared and the First Daughter get top secret access, what with their extensive foreign contacts, contracts, and debts, their extreme difficulty with candor on the SF-86, and the fact that Jared was seeking a goddamn secret back channel to talk to the Russians.
Because they are a married couple, concerns that surfaced during one person's security clearance investigation could stall or block both of them from receiving a full clearance. But officials had concerns about granting Trump a clearance that were separate from those raised about her husband, according to one of the sources, though it's unclear what the concerns regarding her were. At the time, the couple told associates they believed Kelly was blocking them from getting clearances because he did not feel like they belonged in the West Wing.
If we were to hazard a completely wild guess, it might be about Ivanka Trump's best friend, Wendi Deng, who may possibly might be Vladimir Putin's girlfriend, and whose ex-husband Rupert Murdoch reportedly asked Trump to ascertain if she may possibly might be a Chinese spy!
But then they whined to Poppy that it was NO FAIR for mean servants to put them in time out. So Trump leaned on then-White House Counsel Don McGahn and then-COS John Kelly to greenlight them -- so as to keep Trump's fingerprints off the override. But McGahn and Kelly refused to do it, forcing President Daddy to order it himself. CNN can't confirm Ivanka's direct knowledge of her father's interference in the clearance process. But you can color us mighty freakin' skeptical that Blondie asked her father for something, and then had no idea how her wish was suddenly granted.
All of which is, as they say, a REALLY BAD LOOK. But wait, there's more! It's the Trump administration .... there's always more. For months, the White House has been stonewalling the Congressional Oversight Committee's extensive inquiry into the Trumpland clearance process. Monday, before the details about Ivanka's clearance broke, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent his latest letter telling Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings to get bent. This time, he's lecturing the 12-term Representative on HOW TO CONGRESS GOOD:
The Committee has not cited any legal authority to the contrary, nor explained what legitimate legislative initiative could require the information the Committee seeks. Neither has the Committee provided any constitutional or statutory basis for "develop[ing] reforms ... in current White House systems and practices." The Committee has not explained any potential legislation that Congress could legitimately enact to alter the standards or the process that the Executive Branch follows for granting clearances to the President's closest advisors in the Executive Office of the President.
Well, at least he didn't call him uppity. We're not going to go down the hypocrisy rabbithole of a Republican hollering about the propriety of congressional investigations of executive action -- this way madness and 10,000 hours of Benghazi hearings lie. We'll just let Congressman Cummings do it for us. Here are some excerpts from the press release where he 'splained to Mr. Cipollone that the Oversight Committee will be doing its job, thankyouverymuch. And that that job is OVERSIGHT.
- The White House incorrectly characterizes the Committee's requests as "unprecedented" and "radically intrusive demands for the individual background files on its list of selective individuals."
- In 2018, the Oversight and Judiciary Committees obtained information as part of their investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails, including a spreadsheet with the dates White House officials entered the security clearance process and were granted or denied clearances, a background investigation interview summary for Jared Kushner, and an internal readout of the background investigation of Sebastian Gorka.
- In 2018, in response to a request from then-Chairman Trey Gowdy, the Committee obtained information about four instances when the FBI provided derogatory information to the White House as part of Staff Secretary Robert Porter's background investigation, including specific offices at the White House to which the FBI communicated this information.
- In 2017, in response to a bipartisan request from then-Chairman Jason Chaffetz and then-Ranking Member Cummings, the Committee obtained portions of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's SF-86 application and FBI summaries of interviews conducted as part of his background investigation. [...]
- In 1996, the Committee obtained the FBI background investigation file of former White House Travel Office Director Billy Dale and other documents about the White House's background investigation process—including testimony [...].
But aside from that, yeah, it's totally unprecedented. Chairman Cummings looks ready to issue a subpoena soon, saying, "The White House security clearance system is broken, and it needs both congressional oversight and legislative reform. I will be consulting with Members of the Committee to determine our next steps." This is sure to spark a court fight, with the White House dragging the process out as long as possible. But as Adam Schiff warned last year when Devin Nunes and the rest of the GOP goons were threatening to hold the DOJ in contempt for refusing to turn over the basis for Carter Page's FISA warrant, "whatever precedent they were going to set, they were going to have to live by."
Karma's a bitch. And Donald Trump is a criminal.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.