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Top Democrat demands answers on whether Kushner, others used private email for diplomacy

October 3, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, used his personal email account on dozens of occasions to communicate with colleagues in the White House, his lawyer said Sunday.

Between January and August, Kushner either received or responded to fewer than 100 emails from White House officials from his private account, attorney Abbe Lowell said in a statement that confirmed Kushner’s use of a personal address in the first months of the administration.

The use of a private email account to discuss government matters is a politically freighted issue that factored prominently in last year’s presidential election. Trump repeatedly attacked Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for setting up a private email server as secretary of state, a decision that prompted an FBI investigation that shadowed her for much of the campaign.

In Kushner’s case, Lowell said, the emails to and from his private account usually involved “forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal, rather than his White House, address.”

The attorney said Kushner, a key aide to Trump, uses his White House address to discuss White House business and that any nonpersonal emails were forwarded to his official account and “all have been preserved in any event.”

Politico first reported Kushner’s use of a personal email account.

Some of those messages were later determined to contain classified information.

Trump often led crowds in chants of “Lock her up!” during the campaign and vowed in October she would “be in jail” over the matter if he became president. He has since said he would not pursue prosecution.

Former FBI Director James Comey said that though Clinton and her aides were “extremely careless” in their handling of classified material, there was no evidence that anyone intended to break the law, and he recommended against criminal prosecution. The Justice Department accepted that conclusion.

At a political event in Alabama on Friday, Trump responded to supporter chants of “lock her up” by saying, “You’ve got to speak to (Attorney General) Jeff Sessions about that.”

Politico said other senior Trump aides had also used private email accounts, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon and economic adviser Gary Cohn.

Many White House officials use personal phones to communicate by text message with reporters and others.


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