Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, has just launched an investigation into President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner over his use of a private email account for official business. Cummings announced the move in a letter to Kushner, which he made public this afternoon.
“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. 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.”
Yesterday afternoon, POLITICO announced that they had “seen and verified” over a dozen emails from Kushner’s private email account to other “senior White House officials, outside advisers and others about media coverage, event planning, and other subjects.”
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Those officials and advisors include senior White House staff like former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, Gary Cohn, and spokesman Josh Raffel, indicating that potentially classified information was being discussed in these emails.
Of course, Kushner’s father-in-law made Hillary Clinton’s legal use of a private email server one of the central issues of his campaign, demanding that she be prosecuted and imprisoned for mishandling classified information, which Cummings was quick to point out in his letter by throwing Benghazi crusader Rep. Trey Gowdy’s own words at Kushner:
“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.”
The hypocrisy of Kushner and, as we learned today, Ivanka Trump, using their own private email servers to conduct official White House business is beyond mind-blowing. But since Trump and the Republicans have established such a strong stance on email security, it’s necessary that we make sure Jared and Ivanka pay the price for their decision.