Published: Fri, March 22, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Cummings: Ivanka Trump not saving all official email

Cummings: Ivanka Trump not saving all official email

Lowell referred inquiries to the White House and National Security Council about whether Kushner communicated classified information through WhatsApp, something that Cummings said would constitute a "major security breach".

Cummings said the administration has not provided the panel with a "single piece of paper" since he requested a batch of records - as well as a briefing by White House officials - last December.

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and a powerful White House aide, did not preserve all of her official emails as required by federal law, and her husband, Jared Kushner, used a messaging application to conduct USA business outside government channels, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee said on Thursday.

Cummings' letter says Lowell told his staff that Kushner uses WhatsApp to conduct official US government business including by communicating with "people outside the United States". Cummings said he and then-Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, a Republican who has since retired from Congress, met with Lowell in December.

He asked for lists of White House officials who have used personal email accounts and messaging applications for official business, and more information about the White House archiving process for electronic communications.

The lawyer on Thursday did not directly address the "above my pay grade" comment but said that he conveyed to lawmakers in December that Kushner was following protocols, including in regard to classified information. That would appear to violate the Presidential Records Act, Cummings said.

The allegations from Democrats that some of Trump's closest confidants - as well as former officials Steve Bannon and K.T. McFarland - used personal email come as Trump continues to attack Hillary Clinton for using a private email system when serving as secretary of state.

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Cummings also said the lawyer told his committee that Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and Kushner's wife, continued to receive emails related to official business on a personal email account.

In a statement, White House Counsel spokesman Steven Groves confirmed the administration received Cummings' letter.

A representative for Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The House committee's investigation comes after Ivanka Trump past year dismissed any comparison to the use of private email by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which prompted an FBI investigation and inspired the "Lock Her Up" chant at then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign rallies. "The Committee requests that you confirm by March 28, 2019, whether you intend to comply voluntarily with its requests or whether the Committee should consider alternative means to obtain the information it needs to conduct its investigation".

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.

Lowell says he told Cummings their discussion was in regard to a period before September 2017.

He said that Trump's White House had so far failed to provide documents and information and was "obstructing" his committee's efforts to investigate possible violations of White House policy and the presidential records law. "As with all properly authorized oversight requests, the White House will review the letter and will provide a reasonable response in due course".

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