White House Aides’ Email Use Under Scrutiny by Power-Hungry Dems — Payback for Hillary?

  • Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, announced that President Trump’s top aides will have “their use of personal emails and other unofficial messaging to conduct government affairs” scrutinized more closely.
  • The top aides include Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband and Trump adviser, Jared Kushner.
  • Cummings said his committee will look into the aides’ use of emails and other communications that he claims “violated federal laws.”
  • Cummings wrote to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone: “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.”
  • According to Cummings, “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.”
  • The White House hasn’t responded to the probe or the allegations.
  • During the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Trump excoriated Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server to handle her official secretary of state duties. Trump still makes mention of her emails during speeches and on Twitter.
  • In 2017 and 2018, the Republican leadership of the oversight panel began to probe the Trump administration for using non-official email for official business.
  • Once Democrats won the House in 2018, they took over the probe into the administration.
  • 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.”
  • According to Kushner’s lawyer, “Kushner used WhatsApp for official duties and that his wife, Ivanka, continued to use a personal email account for her White House business.”
  • However, Kushner’s lawyer later denied telling lawmakers that Kushner used an app to communicate with foreign officials or leaders but used the apps to “communicate with some people.”
  • Reports from last year claim that Kushner used WhatsApp to communicate with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Reference Links

  • Reuters: Congress expands probe of White House personal email use READ
  • The Hill: Cummings announces expansion of Oversight panel’s White House personal email probe, citing stonewalling READ
  • New York Daily News: White House won’t dish on First Family’s private email use as Dems demand to see messages READ
  • Politico: House Oversight chairman demands private emails from Trump officials READ

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