Congress Expands Probe of White House Personal Email Use

Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Top aides in President Donald Trump‘s White House, including his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will come under increased scrutiny for their use of personal emails and other unofficial messaging to conduct government affairs, a congressional oversight chairman said on Monday.

U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said the panel would begin its own review of emails and other communications by the White House that he said violated federal records law.

“The purpose of this investigation is to determine why White House officials used non-official email accounts, texting services and encrypted applications for official business,” Cummings wrote to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

Lawmakers will look at why records sent or received by non-official accounts were not forwarded to official accounts within 20 days as legally required, as well as whether there was a topic White House officials wanted to conceal, he said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump pilloried his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential campaign for her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. He continues to refer to her emails in speeches and on Twitter.

The Republican leaders of the oversight panel had also sought information on use of non-official messaging by White House staff in 2017 and 2018. Democrats took over the panel after winning the House of Representatives in 2018 elections.

Cummings said the White House had not produced any documents in response to those requests or his own previous requests, saying it was conducting an internal investigation.

In March, Cummings wrote to the White House counsel with “more troubling information” about apparent violations by Kushner, Ivanka Trump and former advisers Steve Bannon and K.T. McFarland.

Cummings said Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, had told lawmakers that Kushner used WhatsApp for official duties and that his wife, Ivanka, continued to use a personal email account for her White House business.

Lowell, in a reply to Cummings, denied telling lawmakers that Kushner had communicated through any app with foreign “leaders” or “officials” but said Kushner had used such apps for communicating with “some people,” who were not specified.

CNN reported last year that Kushner communicated with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman via the Facebook Inc-owned <FB.O> WhatsApp messaging application.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Toni
Guest
Toni

LOL, they didn’t give a rip about any of this when it was Hillary. I sincerely doubt that communications sent were “classified” like they were with Hillary. But of course, they now want to monitor & scrutinize everything that’s done while Trump is in office.

William Conley
Guest
William Conley

This is pure gold they barely gave a shit when HRC and all her aides were doing it with actual sensitive government information which she was likely selling to Russia or whoever. I digress she did these same violations and wasn’t considered guilty right then and there after what she and her aides did. They shouldn’t even be allowed to mention this in public let alone act like they give a damn now that’s it’s not a democrat doing it. Tell you what go back convict HRC and weiners wife whatever her name was and every single person involved in… Read more »

Brad
Member

I say they white wash and bleach everything along with 30 some thousand other lost e,ails and text messages, and then hand over blank devices for them to investigate

Mikki Greenwood
Member

Why is Cummings allowed to bring an investigation against anyone. Isn’t it his wife who is being investigated for misuse of funds?

Dave Hardesty
Member

Why?

Because the precedent that transmitted the message that it was all OK to the entire world happened during the Obama Administration when Madam Hillary Rod-em Clinton was Secretary of State. It occurred with all of her email fiascoes. Had the law been followed and not ignored, it would have landed her and Obama behind bars in a Federal prison.

The White House defense should be, “Why are you prosecuting us for these things when you didn’t prosecute Madam Clinton and her boss who set the precedence that this form of communications is permissible?”

Tom Bodine
Member

Elijah Cummings the IRS bag man is just trying to hide the old bags misuse by blaming someone else.

Nick
Guest
Nick

Democrats want this? How about they go back and take a long hard look at what their savior HRC did. Pot calling the kettle black, much?

Tina
Guest
Tina

It was ok for Obama and Hilary. With Hilary destroying her damning evidence, but if a Republican send a “hi honey” text or a “hey wanna meet” text the Democratic POS wanna dig through their life and look for any little thing them throw the book at them! Get it right now Dems! What’s good for the goose ?

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