House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has joined his Democratic colleague in pushing the Trump administration for more information about officials’ use of personal email accounts after it was revealed that President Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner had used a private account for government business.
The Washington Post first reported Monday that Gowdy, along with ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings (D-MD), wrote to White House counsel Don McGahn and leaders of two dozen federal agencies requesting information about the use of personal email accounts.
Gowdy succeeded Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) as chairman of the committee as it was coming under increasing pressure to turn up the heat on the administration, just as it had so thoroughly investigated, in 2015 and 2016, Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.
Politico first reported Sunday that Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, had used a private email account for occasional White House business. Kushner released a statement saying that the emails sent from his personal account were forwarded to his official address and stored in accordance with policy.
“Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account,” Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kushner, said in a statement. “These usually forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal rather than his White House address.”
Kushner’s usage also differs from Clinton’s in that these instances are infrequent, none appear to have been deleted, and there was no indicated classified information sent. Kushner also did not use a homebrew private server to send the emails as Clinton did. Yet it is likely to draw cries of hypocrisy from opponents of the administration considering how central the Clinton emails were to the 2016 campaign.
The Gowdy/Cummings letter asks for the names of any non-career official who has used a personal account for official business, according to the Post, as well as the names of any officials who use “text messages, phone-based message applications, or encryption software.” The letter reportedly says that the requests are in order to see whether the administration is following records retention laws.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY