I worked on the Senate Judiciary Committee staff for Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, for three years researching judicial nominees and high-ranking Justice Department appointees seeking confirmations. Typically the individuals whose backgrounds I delved into had long, impressive resumes and abundant bona fides. They had been vetted by the FBI, had completed long detailed questionnaires, and had provided reams of financial records, academic papers and speeches for review.
While I had access to power, I had none of my own. I had an edgy past that included dropping out of college and living in Mexico among hippies and drug dealers. I knew for sure I would never be confirmable. I sat on the bench behind my senator boss during Anita Hill’s devastating testimony, but watched Clarence Thomas survive the vote. I saw Zoe Baird’s attorney general bid go down in flames over a nanny. I eventually left government for journalism.
On paper, Kushner is even less fit for high-level access than I am. He omitted potentially disqualifying details from his background questionnaire, suggested setting up a back channel to a hostile foreign government during the transition, and has been discussed as a weak link by foreign powers, according to a Washington Post report sourced to “current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter.”