Kushner Used Personal Email For White House Business

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Jared Kushner's lawyer confirmed on Sept. 24 that the senior adviser and son-in-law to the president had sent White House emails over a personal email server.

According to Politico, the private account was set up in December during the transition between the Obama and Trump administrations.

Kushner reportedly uses the private account in tandem with his official White House account.

"Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business," lawyer Abbe Lowell said in a statement. "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."

According to Lowell, most of the emails consisted of "forwarded news articles and political commentary" and most were a response to an email that someone had sent to his personal account as opposed to his official government email.

Politico reports that other White House employees who had communicated with Kushner via his private email include former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, among others.

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Though White House officials sometimes use private emails in addition to government ones, Kushner's use of a private account is controversial due to Republicans' heavy criticism of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server in government communications as secretary of state.

Clinton's emails were investigated by former FBI Director James Comey.  Comey ultimately dismissed the charges, but described Clinton as "extremely careless" in the way she handled classified information, BBC reports.

According to The New York Times, a White House employee speaking on the condition of anonymity said that Kushner's case differs from Clinton's because he did not set up a private server for his personal account.  He also claimed that Kushner used his government account as well, whereas Clinton only used her private one.

Still, the news seems to have hit a sore spot for Democrats, whose campaign was badly damaged by Clinton's email scandal.  The party is now calling for a congressional probe into Kushner's email.

Politico reports that Elijah Cummings, the Top House Oversight and Government Reforming Committee Democrat from Maryland, sent Kushner a letter asking him to preserve all of the emails that he sent on his personal account: "Before requesting copies or calling for the public release of all official emails you sent or received on your personal email account, 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."

Cummings did not shy away from letting Kushner know that his moves were being watched.  He added that Kushner's response to the preservation request "will help determine the next steps in this investigation."

Sources: BBC, Politico (2), The New York Times / Featured Image: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr / Embedded Images: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr, The White House/Flickr

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