WASHIGNTON (CN) – The House Oversight Committee on Monday night requested more information on the use of private email account by President Donald Trump’s closest advisers, following multiple reports that White House staff members are using private email to conduct official business.
Reps. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent the letters to White House counsel Don McGahn and 24 federal agencies after Politico reported White House senior advisor Jared Kushner uses a private email to conduct official White House business. The New York Times later reported at least six advisers to President Donald Trump are using private email accounts for official business.
Gowdy and Cummings reminded McGahn in a three-page letter that White House emails are often covered under the Presidential Records Act and that the officials using private email could be attempting to skirt that law.
“With numerous public revelations of senior executive branch employees deliberately trying to circumvent these laws by using personal, private, or alias email addresses to conduct official government business, the committee has aimed to use its oversight and investigative resources to prevent and deter misuse of private forms of written communication,” the letter states.
Gowdy and Cummings asked McGahn and the agencies to detail their policies about using “non-official electronic messaging accounts,” as well as to identify any official they know is using a personal email account or text messages to conduct official business.
The reports of members of the Trump White House using private email accounts come after Trump made Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server while secretary of state a key point of his campaign. Trump repeatedly used the scandal to question Clinton’s ability to classified information and to stir the “lock her up” chants that became staples of his rallies.
As the head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Gowdy was also a particularly vocal critic of Clinton’s email habits and the House Oversight Committee on which he served before becoming chair earlier this year also conducted its own inquiry into her private email server.