Jared Kushner's lawyer, fooled by 'email prankster,' offers window into private email controversy

Top Washington lawyer Abbe Lowell engaged in an email exchange with a prankster posing as client Jared Kushner on Monday, at one point telling the prankster that he needed “to see all emails” sent and received from a private email account the president’s son-in-law had set up in December.

The exchange, which the prankster provided to Business Insider, came as Kushner was dealing with his own minor email scandal and offers a window into how his team is responding in its initial stages.

Politico reported Sunday that Kushner had used a private email address to communicate with top White House officials, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.
The New York Times reported Monday night that as many as six top White House officials, including Priebus and Bannon, used private email accounts to discuss White House matters.

Lowell’s exchange with the man posing as Kushner marked the second time this month that a top lawyer representing a senior White House official corresponded with the prankster thinking he was a colleague or client. White House special counsel Ty Cobb disclosed information about the FBI’s Russia probe to the prankster earlier this month thinking he was White House social media director Dan Scavino.

On Monday, the prankster wrote to Lowell from the email address “[email protected]” asking what he should do with “some correspondence on my private email … featuring adult content.

“Can I remove these?” the prankster asked.

“Forwarded or received from WH officials?” Lowell wrote in response.

“I think one was forwarded from a White House official, we had discussed a shared interest of sorts. It was unsolicited. Then there are a handful more, but not from officials,” said the prankster, still posing as Kushner.

“I need to see I think all emails between you and WH (just for me and us),” Lowell wrote. “We need to send any officials emails to your WH account. Not stuff like you asked about. None of those are going anywhere.”

“But we can bury it?” the prankster responded. “I’m so embarrassed. It’s fairly specialist stuff, half naked women on a trampoline, standing on legoscenes, the tag for the movie was #standingOnTheLittlePeople :(“

Lowell replied: “Don’t delete. Don’t send to anyone. Let’s chat in a bit.”

Lowell declined to comment when asked about the exchange. He said in a previous statement that “fewer than a hundred emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account.”

“All non-personal emails were forwarded to his official address and all have been preserved in any event,” the statement said.

Lowell’s suggestion that he needs “to see all emails” sent or received from Kushner’s private account raises questions about whether he has fully examined the messages and what kind of information they contained.

Lowell said in his initial statement that the emails “usually” — but not always — “forwarded news articles or political commentary,” and “most often” — but not always — “occurred when someone initiated the exchange.”

“All non-personal emails were forwarded to his official address and all have been preserved in any event,” Lowell said.

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