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Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:09am
2601:405:4480:3263:80da:8cc6:34ea:3dfa

Remember Trump rallies and the Clinton private emails? That's the chant. Right?
White House brushes off House investigators over aides' use of personal email

(excerpts)

The White House brushed off a bipartisan request from House investigators for details of senior administration officials' use of private email and encrypted messaging apps for government work, including possible violations of federal record-keeping laws, a letter obtained by POLITICO shows.

In a terse letter to Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) — leaders of the House oversight committee — President Donald Trump's congressional liaison Marc Short declined to indicate whether any administration officials had used personal email accounts or messaging services, despite reports suggesting such communications were common in the West Wing.

"The White House and covered employees endeavor to comply with all relevant laws," Short wrote in a two-page reply delivered late last week and obtained Monday by POLITICO.

Short's statement comes despite recent revelations that several senior aides to President Donald Trump routinely used private email addresses and personal devices for government business. Among the current and former aides who POLITICO found at least occasionally relied on private email addresses were Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Gary Cohn and Reince Priebus.

The White House's limited responses set up a potential confrontation with Gowdy, a hard-nosed prosecutor with subpoena power and a track record that includes sharp criticism of Hillary Clinton's use of private email as secretary of state. Cummings said last week that he hoped the committee would subpoena any information that the White House declined to provide, as have other Democrats.

"These were bipartisan requests to the White House related to the Administration’s private travel and email usage, and the White House has completely blown off the Committee," said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a member of the oversight committee. "The Committee needs to assert its jurisdiction and authority immediately to get this information. If the White House won’t provide documents to permit basic oversight, the Chairman should send subpoenas.”

Gowdy and Cummings had requested details from the White House on the extent of private email correspondence after POLITICO reported that Kushner, in particular, had relied on a private email account to conduct some White House business.