Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of United States President Donald Trump and one of his closest advisers, received a permanent security clearance on Wednesday, dispelling doubts about his possible recent loss of clout in US relations with Mexico, China and Israel.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) completed its thorough investigation of Kushner's financial activities and foreign contacts, a task taking more than a year and which had to be finalized before the husband of Trump's oldest child Ivanka could re-obtain permission to access the most closely guarded US secrets, Efe reported.
"His application (for security clearance renewal) was properly submitted, reviewed by career officials, and went through the normal process," Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement. "Having completed these processes, Mr. Kushner is looking forward to continuing the work the President has asked him to do."
Lowell did not say what level of clearance Kushner had been granted, but sources familiar with the matter told The Washington Post that it is a "top secret" authorization, which would enable the young real estate mogul to view very sensitive US government intelligence information.
Last February, Kushner lost the temporary top secret clearance he had enjoyed since Trump came into power in January 2017, and his access to sensitive intelligence information was curtailed, although he did retain a lower clearance level, that of "secret".
That move was the result of a decision by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to withdraw the temporary top secret clearances from those employees who had held them for more than eight months without the required background investigations on them having been completed.
In Kushner's case, the delay in the FBI investigation of his background combined with the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller into his contacts with Russian officials raised speculation about whether he could be subject to blackmail, a situation that could put the confidential information he might know at risk.
The White House said in February that Kushner's loss of top secret clearance would not affect his diplomatic activities, and apparently, it has not done so.
Kushner has been intimately involved in US negotiations to recraft the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, and last week he travelled to Israel to inaugurate the new US Embassy in Jerusalem.
Updated Date: May 24, 2018 09:14 AM