President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, reportedly used a third private email account to conduct official White House business. The two senior White House officials shared the account with their personal household staff.
On Oct. 2, it was disclosed that the White House probe into Trump administration officials' use of private email had found a third and previously undisclosed email account shared by the Kushner family. The private account received messages about nonpublic travel documents, schedules and some official government business, Politico reports.
It remains unclear whether the Kushner family’s third private email account was bolstered with security measures to prevent hacking. Household staff had access to the account to coordinate the Kushner family's schedule. The account has been in use since January and reportedly received hundreds of emails from official White House accounts.
"They've pretty much been using it since they got there," a person familiar with the email account said, adding that Ivanka's assistant sent emails to the account "daily."
It was previously disclosed that both Kushner and Ivanka Trump had used separate personal email accounts since joining the Trump administration, both of them sending and receiving some official White House emails using those accounts.
The revelations prompted an official review by White House internal staff. The probe examined how many senior members of the Trump administration were using personal email accounts and whether they were complying with the Presidential Records Act, which requires all White House communications to be preserved for the historical record.
A White House spokesperson stated, "In light of recent congressional inquiries, we have briefed staff on the need to preserve records and are working to ensure compliance."
On Oct. 3, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee blasted the revelation that the Kushner family had used a third personal email account and demanded information on whether any Trump administration official had used private communications to message a foreign entity, ABC News reports.
"Mr. Kushner's active role in arranging meetings and engaging in diplomacy, both in public and private, coupled with his use of unofficial email, raises questions as to whether any communications regarding representatives of foreign governments occurred through unofficial channels and could have been compromised," Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and White House counsel Don McGahn.
"It is important that any communications that may have occurred over private email or via other non-governmental platforms are appropriately preserved and secure," Cardin added.
It is not illegal for White House staff to use private email as long as they comply with the Presidential Records Act and do not share classified information.
Throughout the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump blasted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her use of a private server while serving in the Obama administration.
"That Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump set up a private domain of their own during the transition reaches new heights of hypocrisy, arrogance, and above-the-law-ism," law professor Lisa Kern Griffin of Duke University told Vox.
Law professor Jessica Levinson of Loyola Law School added, "The issue here is really one of irony and hypocrisy more than illegality."