Ivanka Trump used personal email account for government work, but her lawyer says that’s fine
- The emails were sent to White House aides, Cabinet members and Ivanka Trump’s assistants
- Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server was a major issue in the 2016 presidential campaign
Ivanka Trump, in her capacity as a White House adviser, used a personal account to send hundreds of emails to other government officials last year, her lawyer acknowledged.
Her email habits, which might have violated federal records rules, are noteworthy since her father spent much of his 2016 campaign calling for the imprisonment of Hillary Clinton because she used a personal email account to conduct official business while secretary of state.
Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Ivanka Trump’s lawyer Abbe Lowell, confirmed her private email usage but maintained that she had committed no wrongdoing.
“Like most people, before entering into government service, Ms Trump used a private email,” Mirijanian said.
“While transitioning into government, until the White House provided her the same guidance they had to others who started before she did, Ms Trump sometimes used her private account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family.”
The Washington Post first reported Ivanka Trump’s email usage.
Mirijanian said Trump “retained” all the emails on her official account after reviewing them with the White House counsel and explaining the issue to congressional leaders.
The spokesman also said Trump’s personal email practices were different from how Clinton set up a private email server in her Westchester County home and then used it in an official capacity.
“Ms Trump did not create a private server in her house or office, there was never classified information transmitted, the account was never transferred or housed at Trump Organisation, no emails were ever deleted,” Mirijanian said.
Both Clinton and Trump used personal lawyers to scan their emails for classified information.
Clinton insisted none of the messages on her server contained classified information. The FBI later concluded that 110 emails contained classified information.
Government ethics watchdogs proposed that Ivanka Trump face the same type of scrutiny as Clinton.
“Did Ivanka Trump turn over all of her emails for preservation as required by law? Was she sending classified information over a private system?” said Austin Evers, the executive director of American Oversight, a group whose public records request prompted the email discovery.
“For more than two years, President Trump and senior leaders in Congress have made it very clear that they view the use of personal email servers for government business to be a serious offence that demands investigation and even prosecution, and we expect the same standard will be applied in this case.”
Philippe Reines, a Clinton campaign aide, tweeted: “John Kelly [White House chief of staff] must be compelled to explain to Congress why Ivanka & Jared’s security clearances were granted on a permanent basis despite their email practices being known at that time to the White House as running afoul of security requirements.”
Where there’s smoke there’s Jared.
John Kelly must be compelled to explain to Congress why Ivanka & Jared’s security clearances were granted on a permanent basis despite their email practices being known at that time to the White House as running afoul of security requirements. https://t.co/YNx55gLEGS
— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) November 20, 2018
Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard, added: “You can’t make this stuff up. Not after that gang did the ‘Lock Her Up!’ chant against Hillary for two solid years so Ivanka could become First Daughter. Above the law, just like daddy. Disgusting hardly says it.”
You can’t make this stuff up. Not after that gang did the “Lock Her Up!” chant against Hillary for two solid years so Ivanka could become First Daughter. Above the law, just like daddy. Disgusting hardly says it.https://t.co/R9CfZWX2tT
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) November 19, 2018
The Post, attributing its information to people familiar with the White House examination of Trump’s emails, said those people told the newspaper that nearly 100 messages on her personal account violated the Presidential Records Act as they apply to government policies and other official business. Several hundred more messages could have also violated the rule because they divulged details about Trump’s official work schedule and travel arrangements, the people said.
Additional reporting by The Guardian