Kushner, Ivanka Trump using secret texts, emails to do government business: House investigation
Trump son-in-law and top White House adviser Jared Kushner uses WhatsApp to conduct official government business, and his wife Ivanka Trump still does official work on her personal email account, running afoul of the law, House Democrats said Thursday.
The Oversight Committee, which is investigating the White House’s practices, said it has obtained information from the personal lawyer for Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump, who are married.
Public officials are allowed to conduct business on their own email accounts, but they are required to forward the messages to their official government accounts so they are part of the records. Failing to do so breaks the law.
The Oversight Committee said it’s also learned that former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland and former White House strategist Steve Bannon also used personal emails to conduct business related to sensitive nuclear technology.
The revelations are particularly embarrassing for President Trump, who during the 2016 campaign called for the jailing of Hillary Clinton over her own use of a secret email account to exchange top-secret information.
At the time, Ms. Clinton’s decision to use a secret account for government business was against policy but not necessarily a violation of law, depending on the circumstances. Exchanging top secret information on an unsecured network, however, did appear to run afoul of the law.
In the years since Mrs. Clinton left the State Department a new law was passed that does require government business to be transacted on official accounts — or at the least for official messages sent to personal emails to be forwarded.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the Oversight Committee, has been trying to pry loose more information about this White House’s practices, but says he’s run into a brick wall.
“The White House’s failure to provide documents and information is obstructing the committee’s investigation into allegations of violations of federal records laws by White House officials,” he wrote in a letter to the White House legal team.
He suggested the committee had other ways to demand the information beyond the current request.