National Archives Launches Probe Into Commerce Secretary’s Use Of Private Email
As many as eight current and former Trump administration officials are reported to have used personal email accounts at some point in their tenure, and now the National Archives and Records Administration is investigating such allegations against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
According to Politico, the investigation was triggered by a Washington Post report that “cited government-related emails the watchdog group Democracy Forward received from Ross’ private account.”
Archives official Laurence Brewer earlier this month wrote a letter on the matter to Jennifer Jessup, Commerce’s chief information officer, saying: “The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has become aware of a potential unauthorized disposition of U.S. Department of Commerce records.”
The letter, made public this week, referenced the Washington Post report, noting it claimed Ross “used personal email for official business,” and gave the Commerce Department 30 days to respond.
In an ongoing court battle over Ross’ emails between Democracy Forward and the government, Justice Department attorneys argued that the Commerce Department should not have to conduct a search of the secretary’s personal email accounts.
They made the argument “even though searches of Commerce Department accounts found 280 email chains over a 16-month period that contained references to one of more of the four private accounts he used,” Politico noted.
Other Trump administration officials who reportedly used private email accounts include the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner.
That such a high number of President Donald Trump’s officials would engage in such activity is ironic, considering that Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server was a cornerstone of Trump’s 2016 campaign.