WASHINGTON – The House Oversight Committee plans to investigate whether Ivanka Trump violated federal law by using a personal email account for government business, a Democratic staffer on the committee said Tuesday.

Ivanka Trump at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Oct. 9, 2018. (Zach Gibson/Bloomberg)

“We plan to continue our investigation of the Presidential Records Act and Federal Records Act, and we want to know if Ivanka complied with the law,” said the aide, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

American Oversight, the liberal watchdog group whose record requests led to the discovery that Ivanka Trump’s use of her personal email, said in a letter to the top members of the panel and the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier Tuesday that “it is incumbent on Congress to investigate this matter immediately,” drawing a comparison between the use of personal email accounts by President Donald Trump’s daughter and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Ivanka Trump is a White House senior adviser.

“The parallels between Ms. Trump’s conduct and that of Secretary Clinton are inescapable,” Austin Evers, the group’s executive director, said in the letter. “In both her use of personal email and post-discovery preservation efforts, Ms. Trump appears to have done exactly what Secretary Clinton did – conduct over which President Trump and many members of Congress regularly lambasted Secretary Clinton and which, they asserted, demonstrated her unfitness for office.”

Evers added that “while much of the rhetoric surrounding Secretary Clinton’s use of personal email was hyperbolic and untethered to the law or facts, the extensive use of personal email by a senior public official raises important questions that merit investigation.”

The White House has been bracing for the new revelation to spur a deeper investigation next year by House Democrats of Ivanka Trump’s correspondence in her personal, official and business life.

Ivanka Trump first used her personal email to contact Cabinet officials in early 2017, before she joined the White House as an unpaid senior adviser, according to emails obtained by American Oversight and first reported by Newsweek.

When she joined the White House, Trump pledged to comply “with all ethics rules.” But she continued to occasionally use her personal email in her official capacity, according to people familiar with the review.

In a statement Monday, Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Ivanka Trump’s attorney and ethics counsel, Abbe Lowell, said that the first daughter’s email use was different than that of Clinton, who had a private email server in the basement of her Chappaqua, N.Y., home. At one point, an archive of thousands of Clinton’s emails was deleted by a computer specialist amid a congressional investigation.

Some former Trump White House officials on Tuesday criticized Ivanka Trump over the matter.

The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, Colby Itkowitz and Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.


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