Top House Dem Demands Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Explain Email Switcheroo

Why did they re-route personal email accounts to Trump Org after being told by Congress not to?

Bernd Von Jutrczenka/DPA/ZUMA Press

The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday sent letters to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner demanding that they preserve government-related messages they sent using private email addresses and explain why they reportedly transferred the emails to Trump Organization servers after the committee told them not to relocate the records.

“If these reports are accurate, they raise serious questions about your actions,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote to Trump and Kushner.

USA Today reported Tuesday that Trump and Kushner, President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, moved their personal email accounts to Trump Organization computers after news of Kushner’s use of a personal email account became public. Ivanka Trump and Kushner work as advisers in the White House.

The couple’s use of nongovernmental emails has drawn comparisons to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Cummings and committee chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) in a bipartisan letter sent September 25 asked the couple to preserve the emails. The letter and a follow-up request specified that preservation meant the records should not be destroyed, modified, or transferred, Cummings noted.

“Although there may be legitimate reasons for transferring email accounts to different servers, neither you nor anyone from the White House contacted the Committee before you took these steps, despite the fact that you had received our letters before you reportedly took these actions,” Cummings writes. 

“Finally, there are questions about whether any of the emails you sent or received on your private email accounts included classified or sensitive information, such as information relating to foreign leaders or the schedules of senior White House officials,” Cummings adds.

Cummings also notes that the reported transfer of the emails—revealed on Wednesday by USA Today—could violate a pledge made by the couple to avoid business communications with the Trump Organization in order to steer clear of conflicts of interest.

Cummings sent letters to GoDaddy, which originally housed the couple’s email accounts and servers, and to the Trump Organization, instructing both companies to preserve the records. In addition, Cummings wrote to the FBI, asking the bureau to “conduct a security review to determine whether any classified or sensitive information was transmitted or stored on private email accounts or nongovernmental servers by senior White House officials.”

The congressman’s requests are not subpoenas and are not legally binding.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate