Republicans Facing Backlash over Kushner and White House Staff Email Use

Republicans who blasted Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server are dealing with a thorny issue: the use of private email by Jared Kushner and other White House staff for official business, The Hill reports.

Congressional Democrats have called for an investigation, with Representative Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, asking Kushner for information on his non-government accounts and private family domain. He also demanded that Kushner preserve all official records in his possession. While there are differences between what Clinton and what Kushner and other White House staff are accused did, the similarities are easy to see, The Hill comments.

Clinton set up her own server in her Chappaqua, N.Y., home and exclusively used personal email for government business, while Kushner and others used their personal accounts alongside official White House accounts.

“This will cause Democrats to howl … given how much Republicans pushed this issue, with good reason,” said Doug Heye, a former communications director for the Republican National Committee.

Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy joined with Cummings in sending a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn late Monday asking for a list of non-career officials at the White House who have used personal email to conduct official business. A Democratic aide told The Hill that Republican leadership declined to sign on to the Cummings letter to Kushner, but later asked the Democrats to join the letter to McGahn. Nearly identical letters were also sent to two dozen federal agencies.

Gowdy’s letter was couched as a follow-up to a March request about whether officials were using unofficial devices for official business, one that Cummings says was met with a denial by the White House.

Meanwhile, Gowdy also launched an investigation into Tom Price for his use of private jets for air travel, another action suggesting the chairman wants to show a streak of independence.

On Monday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described the use of private email accounts within the Trump White House as “very limited.” She declined to say whether the White House would commit to releasing Kushner’s work-related correspondence on his private account, The Hill writes.

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