Cummings Urges Gowdy to Take White House Advice—Obtain Documents Directly from Kushner on Personal Email
Cummings Urges Gowdy to Take
White House Advice—Obtain Documents
Directly from Kushner on Personal Email
Ranking Member Asks for Subpoena Vote if
Chairman Declines Bipartisan Document Request
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 23, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter urging Chairman Trey Gowdy to join a document request Cummings sent several weeks ago to Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner seeking information about his use of personal email for official business in possible violation of the Presidential Records Act.
Last week, White House officials briefed Democratic and Republican Committee staff, telling them several White House employees came forward and “confessed” that they failed to forward official records from their personal email accounts to their governmental email accounts within 20 days, as the Presidential Records Act requires.
When asked whether Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner complied with the Presidential Records Act, the White House officials replied, “You should talk to Mr. Kushner’s counsel about that.”
“In light of the statement from the White House that the Committee should obtain this information directly from Mr. Kushner and his attorneys, I am writing today to urge you to reverse your current course of action and join my requests for documents and a briefing,” Cummings wrote.
“If the Committee is going to conduct a credible investigation into the use of private email by President Trump’s top aides, we cannot allow lawyers representing the White House and the Kushners to play off each other to withhold documents and evade congressional scrutiny. Instead, we should obtain the documents and information we requested from both parties, and if they continue obstructing our investigation and refusing to cooperate, we should consider compulsory measures,” Cummings wrote.
Cummings previously wrote to Kushner on September 25, 2017, regarding reports that he set up a private domain on a non-governmental server for email use shortly after Donald Trump was sworn in as President. The letter sought several categories of documents and explicitly directed Kushner to preserve his email records, including by taking reasonable steps to prevent the “relocation” of those email records. Gowdy declined a request from Cummings to join this letter.
Press reports subsequently revealed that within 24 to 48 hours of receiving Cummings’ letter, Kushner and Ivanka Trump “re-routed their personal email accounts to computers run by the Trump Organization.” In response, Cummings sent another letter on October 5, 2017, to Kushner and Trump requesting an immediate briefing on why the couple relocated their email accounts in apparent violation of letters from the Committee. Gowdy also declined to join this letter.
If Gowdy declines today’s request, Cummings asked him to allow Committee Members to vote, at the next regularly schedule business meeting, on a motion to issue a subpoena to compel Kushner and Trump to produce the documents they are withholding.
Click here to read today’s letter.