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but her emails
July 25, 2019

Because America needed another email debacle.

The House Oversight Committee voted Thursday to authorize subpoenas of all White House officials' work messages sent through private email accounts and messaging apps. The vote was along party lines, and is likely targeted at Ivanka Trump's private email account, Jared Kushner's WhatsApp messages, and former chief strategist Stephen Bannon's personal cell phone, Politico reports.

Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for State Department emails was a constant point of contention during President Trump's campaign. But that didn't stop Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump from using her private email account to conduct government business, or her husband and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner from using the messaging app WhatsApp to talk with foreign leaders. Oversight Democrats had pledged to investigate both of those instances and, after the White House refused to hand over the communications, voted along party lines to okay a subpoena for them.

All White House officials are subject to the subpoena Democrats voted to authorize Thursday, which committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) characterized as "mak[ing] it clear that White House records belong to the public — not the president," per Politico. Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) meanwhile called the subpoena "an attempt to create an appearance of some type of controversy." Kathryn Krawczyk

November 28, 2018

Ivanka Trump is speaking out about her use of a private email account while in the White House, arguing the situation is absolutely nothing like the email scandal that plagued Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.

In an ABC News interview that aired Wednesday, Trump said there is "no equivalency" between her use of a private email address to conduct some government business and Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state. "All of my emails are stored and preserved," she said. "There were no deletions. There is no attempt to hide." The Washington Post reported on Trump's email use on Nov. 19, writing that "many" of the emails she sent were "in violation of federal records rules." The House Oversight Committee plans to investigate whether she "complied with the law."

But Trump told ABC News that her emails were just about "scheduling and logistics," and any of the emails that related to government work "are all part of the public record" and did not contain any classified information. Those who see a similarity between this situation and the Clinton email scandal are being dishonest, she insisted, saying, "People who want to see it as the same, see it as the same." Watch a portion of Trump's interview below. Brendan Morrow

November 20, 2018

Get ready for another contentious investigation into a government official's email use.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Tuesday called for "some kind of investigative effort" after The Washington Post reported that Ivanka Trump in 2017 used a personal email account to send hundreds of emails about government business. Blumenthal told CNN that either the Office of Government Ethics or Congress itself should conduct an investigation into this matter because Trump "in a sense" has put herself "above the law." He also said "there's no way that she had no knowledge of the rules."

The report on Ivanka Trump's email use naturally drew comparisons to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was hammered during the 2016 election for her use of a private email server while at the State Department. Blumenthal agreed with this comparison and decried "hypocrisy," while Trump's lawyer says her situation is not like Clinton's because she didn't have a private server in her house and didn't send classified material, per CBS News' Mark Knoller.

But Trump's email use, which the Post reports violated federal records rules, is drawing criticism even from some past members of the administration, with former communications director Anthony Scaramucci calling it "hypocritical" and former legislative affairs director Marc Short saying it "certainly looks bad." Watch Blumenthal's comments below. Brendan Morrow

June 14, 2018

Former FBI Director James Comey may have had nothing to say about the revelation in Thursday's Justice Department inspector general's report that he used a private gmail account to conduct official FBI business, but Hillary Clinton — whose campaign, that same inspector general's report suggested, was hurt badly by Comey's poor judgment during the FBI investigation of Clinton's use of private email to conduct government business — had a pithy reply.

Touché. Peter Weber

June 14, 2018

On Thursday afternoon, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will release his long-anticipated report on the FBI and Justice Department's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The report is expected to criticize former FBI Director James Comey for violating longstanding DOJ policies by criticizing Clinton's email use while announcing the FBI found no wrongdoing and then publicly reopening the investigation a week before the 2016 election. Horowitz may also criticize former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — the report already contributed to his firing — and others. When he launched the investigation in January 2017, however, Horowitz made clear he would not second-guess the decision to not press charges against Clinton. Clinton and others have said Comey's actions cost her the election. Peter Weber

November 6, 2017

New memos presented to Congress on Monday show that former FBI Director James Comey initially planned to call Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information "grossly negligent," The Hill reports. An early draft of Comey's statement on the investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server made the claim — which carries legal implications — but Comey eventually softened the language.

The version of the memo released Monday that called Clinton "grossly negligent" was apparently written weeks before Comey's July 2016 press conference, where he ultimately called Clinton's use of a private email server "extremely careless." Comey at the time also recommended no criminal charges against the former secretary of state, because although there was "evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information," he said "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."

The Hill notes that the change in language may have had significant consequences in the decision not to charge Clinton with a crime, as "gross negligence in handling the nation's intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines." A source who spoke anonymously to The Hill said that Comey's chief of staff Jim Rybicki, along with the FBI's deputy director Andrew McCabe and general counsel James Baker, were involved in the drafting of the statement.

In August, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that they had received partial interview transcripts that showed Comey had started drafting a statement rejecting criminal charges for Clinton about two months before the FBI interviewed her regarding her private email server. Kelly O'Meara Morales

October 25, 2017

In an email he wrote last year, Alexander Nix, the head of Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics firm hired by President Trump's campaign, said he had contacted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about how he could help WikiLeaks release some of Hillary Clinton's deleted emails, The Daily Beast reports.

Two people familiar with the congressional investigation into ties between Trump associates and the Russian government told The Daily Beast that Nix wrote this email to a third party, and revealed that Assange told him he did not want his help because he liked to do his work solo. If Nix's claims are true, this is the closest known connection between Trump's campaign and Assange.

WikiLeaks published hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and Trump was quick to praise the site throughout the campaign; PolitiFact says he mentioned WikiLeaks 137 times before the election. Cambridge Analytica did not respond to The Daily Beast's request for comment, but Assange did, saying, "We can confirm an approach by Cambridge Analytica and can confirm that it was rejected by WikiLeaks." Clinton used a private server while secretary of state, and it's unclear if the 33,000 emails that were deleted were ever hacked or if anyone has them, a person close to the congressional investigation told The Daily Beast. Catherine Garcia

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