WASHINGTON: A US House of Representatives committee asked the White House on Monday for information about a media report that senior officials used private email accounts for government business.
The request by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Oversight Committee follows a Politico report on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, and other current and former White House officials used private emails for their government duties.
In a letter to the White House counsel, the committee’s chairman, Republican Trey Gowdy, and top Democrat Elijah Cummings said they would examine whether senior Trump administration officials were “deliberately trying to circumvent (federal) laws by using personal, private, or alias email addresses to conduct official government business.”
Politico said the Kushner emails included correspondence about media coverage, event planning and other subjects. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said his client complied with government record-keeping rules by forwarding all the emails to his official account.
During Trump’s 2016 election campaign, the Republican attacked Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server for official correspondence when she was secretary of state under President Barack Obama.
Some of Clinton’s messages were later determined to contain classified information.
Politico said other senior Trump aides had also used private email accounts, including former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon and economic adviser Gary Cohn.
The New York Times reported on Monday that private accounts were also used by Trump’s daughter Ivanka after she became a White House adviser and by Stephen Miller, a senior Trump adviser.
“All White House personnel have been instructed to use official email to conduct all government-related work. They are further instructed that if they receive work-related communication on personal accounts, they should be forwarded to official email accounts,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.