- President Donald Trump defended his daughter Ivanka’s use of private email to conduct government business to reporters on Tuesday.
- “Ivanka did some emails, they weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton, they weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton..she wasn’t doing anything to hide her emails,” he said.
- Congressional Democrats on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, however, plan to investigate private email use of Ivanka and other White House officials.
President Donald Trump confirmed a Monday report that his daughter Ivanka, an unpaid White House advisor, used a private email address to conduct government business, but defended his daughter by saying her emails “weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton’s.”
The Washington Post reported Monday that Ivanka regularly used a private email account using a domain shared with her husband Jared Kushner for official government business, sending “hundreds” of mainly logistical and scheduling emails to other officials from the private email address.
Ivanka and Kushner’s private email use was first reported in fall of 2017, which prompted the watchdog group American Oversight to file a public records lawsuit for Ivanka’s communications.
“She was the worst offender in the White House,” a former senior government official familiar with the review of Ivanka’s emails told The Post about her email usage, which could violate the Presidential Records Act.
A spokesperson for Ivanka’s attorney Abbe Lowell told The Post that Ivanka did not mean to potentially violate federal records rules by using a private email, and has since turned over those emails to be part of the public record.
“Ms. Trump did not create a private server in her house or office, no classified information was ever included, the account was never transferred at Trump Organisation, and no emails were ever deleted,” the spokesperson said.
Trump echoed those comments to reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “Ivanka did some emails, they weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton, they weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton…she wasn’t doing anything to hide her emails,” the president said.
Throughout his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump frequently attacked Clinton for her use of a private email account and private server in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, New York – often leading chants of “lock her up” at campaign rallies. To this day, Trump occasionally tweets outrage at the FBI for ultimately finding she had not broken any laws.
“The parallels between Ms. Trump’s conduct and that of Secretary Clinton are inescapable,” Austin Evers, the executive director of American Oversight, wrote in a letter to members of Congress.
“In both her use of personal email and post-discovery preservation efforts, Ms. Trump appears to have done exactly what Secretary Clinton did – conduct over which President Trump and many members of Congress regularly lambasted Secretary Clinton and which, they asserted, demonstrated her unfitness for office.”
Despite Trump’s defences, Democrats on the House Committee for Oversight & Government Reform plan to further investigate Ivanka and other White House officials’ private email usage.
“We launched a bipartisan investigation last year into White House officials’ use of private email accounts for official business, but the White House never gave us the information we requested,” Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat and the likely next chairman of the Oversight Committee said in a Tuesday statement.
“We need those documents to ensure that Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and other officials are complying with federal records laws and there is a complete record of the activities of this Administration,” he added.