According to information allegedly obtained by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, senior White House adviser and son-in-law to the president, Jared Kushner, used the messaging platform WhatsApp and his personal email account to conduct official government business.
In a letter sent to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone this Thursday, Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said that lawmakers have obtained information that Kushner “continues to use” the messaging app for official business, POLITICO reports.
Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, confirmed the information to the Committee during a December meeting with Cummings and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), where he claimed that Kushner’s communication habits were legal. When asked if Kushner used WhatsApp to send classified information, Lowell replied, “That’s above my pay grade.”
Cummings says that Lowell told him that Kushner takes screenshots of his messages and sends them to his White House email account in order to stay compliant with records preservation laws.
The Committee stumbled on the information as they demanded new documents from Kushner and other White House officials that are to be turned over by April 4. Ivanka Trump is among the officials the Committee is seeking documents from.
Lowell also reportedly told Cummings that Trump conducts official White House business with her personal email as well. According to Cummings, Trump does not send screenshots to her White House account and is therefore in violation of the Presidential Records Act.
Other officials included in the document request are former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland, and former top White House strategist Stephen Bannon.
Cummings says records indicate that Tom Barrack, a longtime Trump aide, sent a message to Bannon’s private email account about transferring “sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.”
“These communications raise questions about whether these officials complied with the Presidential Records Act and whether the White House identified this personal email use during its internal review and took steps to address it,” Cummings wrote, according to POLITICO.
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