The lead Democrat of the House’s oversight committee has launched an investigation into Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner’s use of a private email address to conduct White House business.
In a letter, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland asked Kushner to “preserve all official records and copies of records in your custody or control.”
He also asked that Kushner provide email addresses for all of private accounts used to conduct business, a list of all emails sent or received on those accounts that conducted official business and information about the security of the private domain used by Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump.
More: Jared Kushner’s private emails: Here’s what you need to know
Cummings’ letter comes after reports revealed that Kushner had created a private email address during the transition. According to his lawyer, fewer than 100 exchanges were made using the address from January to August.
Kushner may not have been alone in the practice. At least six of President Trump’s closest advisers — including former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and former chief of staff Reince Priebus — occasionally used private email addresses to discuss White House matters, according to the New York Times, which cited current and former officials.
Officials are supposed to use government emails for their official duties so their conversations are available to the public and those conducting oversight. But it is not illegal for White House officials to use private email accounts as long as they forward work-related messages to their work accounts so they can be preserved, The Times reported.
Cummings didn’t dive into how outraged he was over the revelations.
Instead, he pointed to the shock of congressional Republicans in years past, when they were angry about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State. He quoted Rep. Trey Gowdy’s letter: “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.”
He also noted that the White House had previously told him there were no senior officials who had multiple accounts. Executive branch officials would be covered by the Presidential Records Act, which requires the preservation of records.
“This statement appears to be inaccurate, although it is possible that Mr. (Marc) Short was referring to senior officials with multiple official government email accounts and that he did not know about your personal email account at the time he wrote this letter to the committee,” he wrote.