Congress now investigating Trump admin's potentially illegal use of private email


The hypocrisy of the Trump White House truly knows no bounds, as multiple members of the administration have been using private email accounts — something for which their side unceasingly slammed Hillary Clinton for months.

In a development that was laughably predictable, members of the Trump administration have reportedly been conducting business over private email accounts, Politico reports.

In particular, Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, "corresponded with other administration officials about White House matters through a private email account set up during the transition last December."

According to emails described to Politico, those other officials included former chief strategist Steve Bannon, former chief of staff Reince Priebus, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, and spokesman Josh Raffel.

As reported by Newsweek, Ivanka Trump also has a private email account on the family domain set up by her and Kushner in late 2016, which she used "to communicate with a government official after her father took office."

And now the House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation into these practices by the Trump administration.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democratic member on the committee, and Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, the committee chairman, have sent letters to the White House and 24 federal agencies requesting "information related to senior officials' use of personal, private, or alias email accounts to conduct official government business," according to a statement.

Cummings and Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah had previously requested information in March 2017 regarding dozens of federal agencies' compliance with both the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act.

But the new reports about the use of private email by Kushner and others have amplified the urgency of the requests.

With numerous public revelations of senior executive branch employees deliberately trying to circumvent these laws by using personal, private, or alias email addresses to conduct official government business, the Committee has aimed to use its oversight and investigative resources to prevent and deter misuse of private forms of written communication. Based on yesterday's Politico reporting regarding private email use for official government business by a senior member of the President's staff, today we write towards a similar end to you and the heads of the Cabinet departments and other CFO Act agencies.

Cummings also wrote to Kushner himself, requesting that Kushner "preserve all official records and copies in your custody or control."

"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," Cummings wrote pointedly.

The irony in this story is impossible to miss, after the obsession for months on end, from both the Trump team and the corporate media, with Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as Secretary of State.

It is hardly surprising to see such hypocrisy from the Trump White House, and how they choose to respond to the letters from the Oversight Committee will be quite telling.

After all, if they are truly so concerned with safeguarding national security and the potential risks involved with using private email accounts, surely they will want to comply fully and immediately with Cummings' and Gowdy's requests.