Van Jones got the job over White House lawyers' objections:
According to several White House sources, Jones was hired for his “green jobs czar” positions over concerns raised by the White House Counsel’s Office, after Jones’s background materials came back with several of what were termed “inconsistencies” in the Standard Form 86 Questionnaire for National Security Positions.
When confronted with the 2004 9/11 truther petition by the White House communications staff, Jones, according to sources, initially blamed his staff at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. The petition was spun by the White House as Jones simply not having read the material closely. Within an hour of the White House statement with Jones’s apology, another document came to light indicating that Jones had helped organize a 2002 truther protest march in San Francisco. Jones, according to White House sources, denied any involvement. “It’s clear we [the White House] don’t know enough about him,” said a White House source in the Counsel’s office, who spoke on Saturday morning before Jones resigned, and did so anonymously in the hopes that information about concerns raised by the counsel’s office about Jones might push him out of the Administration…
[Valerie] Jarrett did view Jones as a critical member of the administration for her outreach efforts, in part, because he was so well known and respected in the radical-left world the administration is counting on to help with issues like health care and cap and tax, and, more importantly, campaign efforts in 2010.