During the process, applicants and appointees are required to list all encounters with foreign leaders and officials during the last seven years. Kushner omitted dozens of meetings with foreign leaders, including one with a Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak and one with the head of Vnesheconombank, a Russian-owned bank. A phone call with Kislyak led to Michael Flynn’s resignation as Trump’s national security adviser in February.
The persons who reported Kushner’s omissions to the New York Times have direct knowledge of the questionnaire and chose to remain anonymous since the document is confidential.
Kushner’s lawyer brushes off the omissions as simple mistakes. However, this information is collected as a way to protect the U.S.’s top secrets from getting into the wrong hands. The omissions also raise some eyebrows, given the current federal and congressional investigations of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.
The questionnaire form includes acknowledgment of the U.S. Criminal Code, Title 18, section 1001, which claims “falsifying or concealing a material fact is a felony which may result in fines and/or up to five (5) years imprisonment.” It also states any inaccuracies in reporting likely leads to firing or denial of security clearance.