Ivanka Trump reportedly used a personal email account to contact a government official after her father, Donald Trump, had already become president.
The organization American Oversight has sued for various public records, seeking to illuminate the “the role Ivanka Trump played and continues to play in the administration of her father”, according to the the group.
Documents obtained by the organization show that Ms Trump used a personal email address to contact United States Small Business Administration administrator Linda McMahon to suggest collaborating on “women’s entrepreneurship”.
A White House spokesperson noted that Ms Trump did not become a federal employee until March, after she had sent the email in question.
“At the time she did so, she made clear that one of her reasons for doing so was to ensure that she would have access to government-issued communications devices and receive an official email account to protect government records”, the spokesperson said. “Prior to obtaining an official account, Ivanka’s communication to Administrator McMahon’s official account ensured the records were preserved and available under the Federal Records Act.”
Ms Trump had had involved with high-level meetings within the administration before she was made a federal employee. In the emails to McMahon Ms Trump copied in her chief of staff, Julie Radford. In them, Ms Radford has a White House email account.
Communicating with government officials from personal accounts is something that Ms Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner has also done. POLITICO reported this weekend that Mr Kushner, a White House adviser, also corresponded with White House officials via a private email account. That revelation prompted Rep Elijah Cummings to launch an investigation, with the Maryland Democrat writing Mr Kushner a letter asking the president’s son-in-law to “preserve all official records and copies of records in your custody or control”.
Mr Kushner corresponded with Trump administration officials about White House affairs using the personal account. Email recipients included former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, and spokesman Josh Raffel.
The emails usually concerned media coverage and event planning, according to Politico, who first reported the story. A lawyer for Mr Kushner said the emails usually contained forwarded news articles or political commentary, and were most often initiated by the person on the other end.
“Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business,” attorney Abbe Lowell told the Associated Press. “Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account.”
During the presidential campaign Donald Trump frequently excoriated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for using a personal server during her time as secretary of state, saying she should be punished with prison time and leading chants of “Lock Her Up”!