WASHINGTON – President of the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed information on Thursday that he said showed that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner used private email accounts and a publicly available messaging service for official White House outlets in a way that might violated federal registers laws.
A lawyer for Mrs Trump, President Trump's daughter and Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior advisor, told the committee last year that in addition to a private e-mail account, Mr. Kushner uses an unofficial encrypted messaging service, WhatsApp, for official White House business, representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, committee chairman, revealed. This company includes foreign contacts, the lawyer, Abbe D. Lowell, told the committee.
Democrats have hardly been able to contain their frustration with what they see as a dark irony in the results – and in previous press releases about the couple's use of private email accounts. Mr. Trump made Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server while she was Secretary of State a central line of attack in her 2016 Presidential campaign. Even after F.B.I. refused to charge Mrs Clinton for her practice and handling of classified information, the Republicans in Congress have continued to win in the case.
Herr. Lowell couldn't say if Mr. Kushner had notified classified information about the messaging service, WhatsApp, which told lawmakers who were "over my grade". He claimed that because Mr. Kushner took screenshots of the communication and sent them to his official white house account or the National Security Council, his client was not in violation of federal records laws.
in a letter revealing the information on Thursday, Mr Cummings said the finding added urgent to his investigation into possible violations of the Presidential Records Act by members of the Trump administration, including Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump. He accused the White House of stonewalling its committee for information it had requested months ago when the Republicans still controlled the Parliament.
"The White House's lack of disclosure of documents and information prevents the committee's investigation into allegations of violations of federal register laws by white house officials," Mr. Cummings wrote. He said he would "be forced to consider alternative means of obtaining compliance" if documents he requested for white house communication and registration were not shared with the committee, an indication he could judge them.
Steven Groves, a white house lawyer, said the White House would review Mr. Cumming's letter and "give a reasonable answer in good time."
The Monitoring Committee first began investigating the use of private communications services in the White House in 2017 among news reports that Mr. Kushner had used a private e-mail account for the government firm and then Mrs Trump had done the same.
CNN reported in October that Mr. Kushner had communicated with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, using WhatsApp. Mr. Lowell confirmed details of Mr. Kushner's private messaging use – though not his communication with Prince Mohammed – during a meeting in December with Mr Cummings and the committee chairman at that time, representative Trey Gowdy, Republican South Carolina. Asked if Mr. Kushner had been cleared to use the messaging app to communicate with foreign leaders, Mr. Lowell said the lawmakers are asking the National Security Council and the White House, Cummings said.
Mr. Cummings said that after talking to Mr. Lowell believed that Mrs Trump might also be in violation of the presidential record law because of her use of a private email account. Specifically, he said that Mr. Lowell had told the committee that although Mrs Trump forwarded work-related emails received on her personal account to a public government account, she did so only if she replied to the email.
Herr. Cumming's committee separately investigates the circumstances under which Mr. Kushner received a top secret security approval. The New York Times reported last month that Mr. Trump had personally intervened to secure clearing despite legal and national security issues raised by his advisors.
Herr. Cummings wrote on Thursday that he had also received documents that apparently showed that KT McFarland had used a personal AOL account for official business while serving as Deputy National Security Adviser and that Stephen K. Bannon had done the same while one white house advisor.  In his letter Mr. Cummings on April 4 deadline for the White House to comply with his requests. To what extent the White House Council's office can agree to cooperate, one still has to see it has refused to comply with other, independent requests from Mr Cummings so far.