BREAKING: Kushner And Ivanka Used Private Email To Conduct White House Business
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has been under scrutiny in the ongoing Russia probes, which have expanded to include potential obstruction of justice by the president and his aides since January. Now, Kushner’s private email traffic has become the latest item under the scope of the FBI and congressional investigators.
As reported by Politico, Kushner has corresponded with other administration officials about White House matters through a private email account set up during the transition last December, part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides using personal email accounts for government business in an attempt to keep their communication secret from government watchdogs.
Kushner uses his private account alongside his official White House email account, according to four people familiar with the correspondence, Politico reports.
“Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business,” Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kushner, said in a statement Sunday. “Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House and others from his personal email account.
Aides who have exchanged emails with Kushner on his private account since President Donald Trump took office in January include former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, and spokesman Josh Raffel, according to emails shown to Politico. In some cases, those White House officials have emailed Kushner’s account first, said people familiar with the messages. Bannon and Priebus have also used private email accounts to correspond with Kushner and others, according to the report.
The decision to set up new, private accounts as Kushner was preparing to enter the White House came in the wake of a bitter election campaign in which Trump routinely excoriated his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for using a personal email account to handle government business when she was secretary of state.
Still, Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, set up their private family domain right before moving to Washington from New York, according to people with knowledge of events as well as publicly available internet registration records.
Ivanka Trump, an assistant to the president, also has an email account on the same domain, Politico reports.
If emails related to Trump aren’t saved, it could be difficult for anyone to know what the Administration is doing behind closed doors.
“There’s a reason we require officials to keep those records,” said Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University. “Even if 80 percent of someone’s records are not interesting, the other 20 percent can be very illuminating on how an administration worked.”