President Donald Trump and his cronies repeatedly slammed Hillary Clinton during her campaign run for using a personal email server while she was secretary of state. Trump loyalists chanted (and still do chant) “lock her up” at campaign rallies because Clinton using personal emails for government business apparently made her untrustworthy.
Though the FBI closed the investigations in Clinton’s case for handling of classified information without any charges after they found no criminal wrongdoing, it's not wrong to say the allegations cost her the elections.
In an ironic turn of events, quite a few members of the White House from the Trump administration have been accused of doing the same — using personal emails to discuss government business.
According to The New York Times, these revelations were made just a day after news came that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, allegedly used a private email account.. Previously, he was under FBI scrutiny for having connections with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.
In another controversy, Kushner reportedly created a personal email last December to correspond with other members of the administration about official matters pertaining to the White House.
Approximately 100 work-related emails were sent or received from January through August with the personal email account in Trump’s first month of administration.
According to the Times, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asked the White House to make certain none of Kushner’s emails were deleted.
“Before requesting copies or calling for the public release of all official emails you sent or received on your personal email account,” he wrote. “I first request that you preserve all official records and copies of records in your custody or control and that you provide the information requested below.”
“Your actions in response to the preservation request and the information you provide in response to this letter will help determine the next steps in this investigation,” he added.
However, Kushner wasn’t the only one who used private emails for correspondence.
Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn and senior adviser for policy Stephen Miller also used private email accounts to correspond with Kushner or each other to discuss government business.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump also reportedly used a personal account while she was an unpaid adviser in the first months of her father’s administration.
According to administration officials, she continued to use the personal email occasionally, even after she became a White House adviser.
Though it is not illegal for White House aides to use private emails for government correspondence, they are supposed to make those conversations available to the public. The practice is generally discouraged because it gives the impression the personal emailing using officials want to avoid public scrutiny.
However, the content and frequency of the personal emails sent by Trump’s team isn’t known.
This is ironic, to say the least. It seems Team Trump is the most hypocritical of all, given how they have maintained in the past that none of the aides ever used personal emails for matters pertaining to government business while bashing Clinton for doing the same.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque