Congress expands probe of White House personal email use

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top aides in President Donald Trump’s White House, together with his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will come underneath elevated scrutiny for his or her use of personal emails and different unofficial messaging to conduct authorities affairs, a congressional oversight chairman stated on Monday.

White House senior advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner stroll on the demilitarized zone separating the 2 Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, stated the panel would start its personal overview of emails and different communications by the White House that he stated violated federal information legislation.

“The goal of this investigation is to find out why White House officers used non-official email accounts, texting providers and encrypted purposes for official enterprise,” Cummings wrote to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

Lawmakers will have a look at why information despatched or obtained by non-official accounts weren’t forwarded to official accounts inside 20 days as legally required, in addition to whether or not there was a subject White House officers wished to hide, he stated.

The White House didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

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

The Republican leaders of the oversight panel had additionally sought info on use of non-official messaging by White House workers in 2017 and 2018. Democrats took over the panel after successful the House of Representatives in 2018 elections.

Cummings stated the White House had not produced any paperwork in response to these requests or his personal earlier requests, saying it was conducting an inside investigation.

In March, Cummings wrote to the White House counsel with “extra troubling info” about obvious violations by Kushner, Ivanka Trump and former advisers Steve Bannon and Okay.T. McFarland.

Cummings stated Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, had instructed lawmakers that Kushner used WhatsApp for official duties and that his spouse, Ivanka, continued to use a personal email account for her White House enterprise.

Lowell, in a reply to Cummings, denied telling lawmakers that Kushner had communicated by means of any app with international “leaders” or “officers” however stated Kushner had used such apps for speaking with “some folks,” who weren’t specified.

CNN reported final yr that Kushner communicated with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman through the Facebook Inc-owned WhatsApp messaging utility.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Peter Cooney

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