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Surprise? Ivanka Trump used Personal Email for Government Business

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This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.

Apparently, Ivanka Trump also used her private email account for government business.  In addition to her husband, Jared Kushner.  This has been revealed from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by a non-profit, watchdog group American Oversight. The FOIA request compelled the Small Business Association to release email correspondence between them and Ivanka Trump.  The emails date back to February 28, 2017.  Which was technically prior to her taking an official position in the White House.  She could have received a government email account, but for some reason didn’t.  As much as I’m not a big fan of the Trump family, this was her only email sent from her personal email account.  Or at least the only one that we know about.  So is this a big deal?

Jared Kushner, however, has sent fewer than 100 emails.  Do numbers make a difference?  Like is one ok, but a hundred isn’t?  There are rules in place that speak to when it’s ok to use your personal email for work and when it’s not ok.  Usually the only time that it is ok, is when there is an emergency.  I work in government myself, but not at the federal level, and we don’t have quite the same kind of rules.  The two big reasons for not using your personal email account are:

1) There is an actual law outlining what you can and can’t do, called the Federal Records law specific to email correspondence.  The law also describes three types of emails – transitory, short term and long term.  There are further details as to what this means, but I’m not going to get into it here.

2) It seems shady to the public.  This seems to be the “real” reason not to use your personal email account.  Because of the three types of email categories, it seems like you’re trying to get away with something.  By sending it from a non-governmental email account, you don’t necessarily have to follow the rules.  Ergo, not complying with the law, and appearing like you’re getting away with something.

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Donald Trump crucified Hillary Clinton for this during last year’s campaign.  And yet, he doesn’t seem to think it’s a big deal when its members of his own family, or benefiting him in some way.  American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers noted the hypocrisy in a statement appending the FOIA report:

“Yet again we see that there’s one rule for the Trump family and another for everyone else. It’s simply breathtaking that both Ivanka and Jared Kushner would conduct government on a personal email account after running a campaign centered on that very issue. The fact that they would brazenly ignore rules governing email use raises even more questions about their judgement and fitness to hold positions in the White House.”

According to the New York Times, four other close advisors to the president have also used their private email addresses to discuss White House business.  Including – Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Stephen Miller and Gary Cohn.  So to answer my original question about how many emails is “ok”, the answer is zero.  Which means that Ivanka did break “the law”, as did Jared Kushner.  I’m not saying that Hillary Clinton was in the right with this one, as if you apply this rule in a black and white form, she is also guilty.  But the issue I have with this whole thing is how the rules are being applied.  It seems to be “ok” when its benefiting Trump.  And that, my friends, is a double standard.

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