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Nov. 20, 2018 / 2:37 AM GMT
By Tim Stelloh
White House advisor and first daughter Ivanka Trump used a personal email account to send hundreds of messages to government officials last year, according to a report published Monday in the Washington Post.
Many of the messages were allegedly sent in violation of federal records rules, the Post reported, and were uncovered by White House officials reviewing Ivanka Trump’s emails in response to a public records lawsuit.
A spokesman for Abbe Lowell, Trump’s ethics counsel said in a statement Monday evening that she only used a private email account while “transitioning” into government.
“Until the White House provided her the same guidance they had to others who started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her private account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family,” the spokesman, Peter Mirijanian, said.
Mirijanian added that Trump did not “create a private server,” nor did she delete or send classified emails — both clear references to former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump routinely skewered Clinton’s email practices, saying he’d appoint a special counsel to investigate them and encouraging his supporters to chant “Lock her up.”
Ivanka Trump assumed an official role in the White House on March 30, 2017. The review cited by the Washington Post found that she used a private account for much of the year, sending emails to cabinet officials, White House aides and assistants.
The public records lawsuit cited by The Post was filed by American Oversight, a non-partisan ethics watchdog. In a post published Monday, the group said the emails were obtained after it filed records requests with five agencies on March 31, 2017 — the Departments of Commerce, Education, Labor, Treasury and the Small Business Administration — that sought messages from Ivanka Trump.
When the agencies didn’t provide them, American Oversight sued, according to their posting.
Redacted messages posted to American Oversight’s website showed that Ivanka Trump used an email address with her husband’s last name — Kushner — that ended in “.com” to send emails to the Small Business Administration in June 2017. Messages sent later in the year to the Treasury Department also appeared to come from the private “Ivanka Kushner” account, the Oversight website noted.
In some messages, Ivanka Trump acknowledges using a personal account and provides correspondents with her White House address. Other emails were too heavily redacted to determine if the email even came directly from Ivanka Trump, the group said.
Ken Dilanian and Monica Alba contributed.