Just days after her husband Jared Kushner was caught up in a private email scandal which may have included criminal violations of the law, Ivanka Trump has also been caught up in a private email scandal of her own. The White House is already making excuses for Ivanka’s personal email usage for government business, but it’s not likely to get her very far, in the backdrop of Donald Trump’s routine insistence that Hillary Clinton go to prison for her own use of private email. This is about to get very ugly.
While Hillary Clinton’s usage of personal email for State Department business was deemed to have been fully legal at the end of a lengthy FBI investigation, the same may or may not be true when it comes to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Jared spent his first seven months in the White House using a private email address for government business, which put him in violation of the Presidential Records Act. Thus far Ivanka is only known to have sent one such email (link), and she’s trying to hide behind technicalities to spin it as having been legal.
The White House is insisting that because Ivanka didn’t officially take a job in her father’s administration until shortly after she sent the email, it shouldn’t count. It’s also using the rationale that because the email was sent to the official email address of a cabinet member, it did technically get recorded into the official record. But because she was indeed conducting official business with a cabinet member, it’s easy to make the argument that she was in fact working as a presidential adviser before she formally accepted the title.
The law will have to sort the matter out. But in the mean time, with Donald Trump and his advisers having spent the general election chanting “Lock Her Up” at Hillary Clinton, even after she had already been fully exonerated, it’s a bad look for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to be seen using email in the same way. The only difference is that Ivanka and Jared have actually broken the law.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report