Kushner’s Use of Private Email

Cummings Launches Investigation

Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner in light of a Politico report that he has been using personal email to communicate with senior White House officials and others about official government business.

According to the report, Kushner and his wife, the President’s daughter Ivanka, set up a private family domain shortly before they started their jobs at the White House. Kushner’s attorney admitted that he sent and received official emails on his personal email account “from January through August.”

“Before requesting copies or calling for the public release of all official emails you sent or received on your personal email account, I first request that you preserve all official records and copies of records in your custody or control and that you provide the information requested below,” wrote Cummings. “Your actions in response to the preservation request and the information you provide in response to this letter will help determine the next steps in this investigation.”

Republicans expressed shock and outrage when former Secretary Hillary Clinton used a personal email account. Rep. Trey Gowdy, as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, wrote on March 19, 2015, to Secretary Clinton’s attorney:

“The public has a right to access public records. The public has a right to certainty that no classified or sensitive information was placed at risk of compromise. The public has a right to know who was advising the Secretary of State about official matters. The public has a right to a full, comprehensive and thorough accounting of Secretary Clinton’s tenure. Moreover, there are other committees in both the House and Senate that have equities with respect to matters arising during Secretary Clinton’s service to our country. Finally, the media, as a conduit between government and the public, has a right to inspect documents in the public domain. All of these entities have the right to be assured the record is complete as well as to avoid burdensome and costly work and litigation to reconstruct public records.”

On March 8, 2017, Cummings and former Chairman Jason Chaffetz sent a bipartisan request to White House Counsel Don McGahn asking whether any senior White House officials used non-official email accounts to conduct official business. On April 11, White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short sent a response stating: “There are no senior officials covered by the PRA [Presidential Records Act] with multiple accounts.”

“This statement appears to be inaccurate,” wrote Cummings, “although it is possible that Mr. Short was referring to senior officials with multiple official governmental email accounts and that he did not know about your personal email account at the time he wrote this letter to the Committee.”

In addition to making a preservation request, Cummings asked Kushner to provide email addresses for all private accounts he used to conduct official business, a list of all emails he sent or received on non-governmental accounts to conduct official business, and information about the security of the private domain he and his wife have been using.

Click here and see below to read today’s letter.