Ivanka Contacts White House Aides Via Personal Email, Against Rules it was Revealed

Published November 20th, 2018 - 01:16 GMT
(Ivanka Trump/ Instagram)
(Ivanka Trump/ Instagram)

Ivanka Trump used her personal email account to send hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, government officials and her assistants - most of which were in violation of federal rules, it was revealed on Monday.

The revelation sparked immediate comparisons to Hillary Clinton, who famously used a private email server while secretary of state that became subject of a federal investigation and the target of criticism from President Donald Trump, who dubbed her 'Crooked Hillary' and said he would lock her up for it.

But Ivanka Trump's lawyer's office slammed any comparisons to Clinton.

'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 Organization, and no emails were ever deleted,' Peter Mirijanian, a spokesperson for Trump's attorney and ethics counsel, Abbe Lowell, to The Washington Post.

White House ethics officials learned of her personal email use when reviewing emails gathered last fall by five Cabinet agencies to respond to a public records lawsuit, sources familiar with the matter told The Post.

Trump said she was not familiar with all the rules.

The private email account came from a domain she shares with her husband, Jared Kushner.

They set up personal emails with the domain 'ijkfamily.com' through a Microsoft system in December 2016, after Trump won the presidency and the couple was preparing to move to Washington D.C.

Mirijanian said her use was mainly around her logistics and her family's schedule. The couple, both of whom serve as advisers to President Trump, have three children.

'While transitioning into government, after she was given an official account but until the White House provided her the same guidance they had given others who started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her personal account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family,' he said in a statement.

He noted she had turned over all her government-related emails months ago so they could be stored permanently with other White House records as part of requirements by federal law under the Presidential Records Act.

Austin Evers, executive director of the liberal watchdog group American Oversight, whose record requests sparked the White House discovery, said it difficult to believe she would not know the rules.

'There's the obvious hypocrisy that her father ran on the misuse of personal email as a central tenet of his campaign,' he told The Post. 'There is no reasonable suggestion that she didn't know better. Clearly everyone joining the Trump administration should have been on high alert about personal email use.'

Those close Ivanka Trump said she never intended to use her private email to hide her government work and only used her private email less than a hundred times, mainly to reply to those who emailed her.

After she told White House lawyers she was unaware that she was breaking any email rules, they discovered that she had not been receiving White House updates and reminders to all staff about prohibited use of private email, sources told the newspaper.

Revelations about Clinton's email server led to an FBI investigation, which ultimately concluded she had been reckless but had not broken the law.

Clinton had a private email server in the basement of her Chappaqua, N.Y., home. Thousands of her emails were deleted by a computer specialist amid a congressional investigation.

She, like Ivanka Trump, had said she didn't understand the rules.

President Trump made Clinton's email use a favorite campaign weapon in the race against her, leading crowds of supporters to chant 'lock her up.'

Even after he defeated her and won the White House he publicly asked on multiple occasions and in tweets why he was the target of an investigation on whether or not his campaign colluded with Russia while Clinton was not being investigated.

'I look at what's happening with the Justice Department, why aren't they going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with her dossier and the kind of money? I don't know,' President Trump said in a radio interview last November.

'Hillary Clinton's Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China,' the president tweeted in August without providing any evidence.

After discovering her private email use in September 2017, White House lawyers relied on Lowell to review which were personal and which were official business.

The White House Counsel's Office did not have access to her personal account.

Lowell forwarded emails that he had determined were related to official business to Ivanka Trump's government account, sources told The Post.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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