Congressman Nadler Letter to President Trump Asks for Information on White House Advisor Sebastian Gorka Amid Reports of Membership in Nazi-Allied Far-Right Hungarian Group, Historical Vitézi Rend

Mar 16, 2017 Issues: Foreign Affairs/Israel

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to President Donald Trump expressing concerns over reports in the Forward that Sebastian Gorka, a top counter-terrorism advisor in the Trump Administration, is a member of the far-right Hungarian group known as Historical Vitézi Rend.  According to the report, Historical Vitézi Rend is a reconstruction of the original Vitézi Rend group from the World War II era, which the U.S. State Department listed as “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany,” and several leaders of the organization have claimed Mr. Gorka as a member.  In his letter, Congressman Nadler asked that the President provide the House Judiciary Committee with Mr. Gorka’s immigration application and his application to be a U.S. citizen in order to determine if Mr. Gorka disclosed this information to U.S. officials.

Below is Rep. Nadler’s letter to President Trump concerning Sebastian Gorka and his reported membership in the far-right group known as Historical Vitézi Rend. A full copy of the letter is available here:

March 16, 2017

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump:

I was extremely disturbed to read a recent report in the Forward that Sebastian Gorka, a top counter-terrorism advisor in your Administration, is a member of the far-right group known as Historical Vitézi Rend.  I ask that you immediately clarify whether Mr. Gorka is indeed a member of this racist and anti-Semitic group, and, if so, that you take appropriate action.

Vitézi Rend was a nationalist organization with an ideology of racial superiority founded by Miklos Horthy, a self-professed anti-Semite, who ruled Hungary from 1920 to 1944.  Horthy collaborated with the Nazis and sent hundreds of thousands of Jews to die in Nazi concentration camps.  The organization was banned by the Communist regime that ruled Hungary after World War II, but since that regime fell in 1989, two groups have since formed that claim to be the heirs to the original Vitézi Rend, holding the same nationalist and racist views as their predecessor.  One of those groups is the Historical Vitézi Rend.  Although Mr. Gorka has denied he is a member, several leaders of the organization claim that he is a formal member and has sworn a lifelong oath of loyalty.

Because of Vitézi Rend’s close association with the Nazi regime, under State Department guidelines, members are “presumed to be inadmissible to the United States.”  If Sebastian Gorka is indeed a member of this organization, as high-ranking leaders of the organization claim he is, he would have been required to disclose this information on his immigration application, and on his application to be a naturalized U.S. citizen.  Failing to do so, he may have been withholding important material facts about his background from the United States, in violation of the law.  Therefore, I am asking that you provide the House Committee on the Judiciary with Sebastian Gorka’s immigration application and his application to be a U.S. citizen, so that the Committee can be assured that he did not enter this country under false pretenses.

The uncertainly over Mr. Gorka’s membership in this racist and anti-Semitic organization, and the White House’s silence in answering questions regarding his status, raise further concerns that this issue is not being treated with the urgency it deserves.  Whether or not Mr. Gorka was honest in his immigration and citizenship applications, if he does in fact have ties with the Historical Vitézi Rend, I hope that you would have no place for someone who shares that organization’s offensive views in your Administration.

I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Jerrold Nadler
Member of Congress

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