The White House on Monday rebuffed an inquiry by House investigators over the use of private email addresses and encrypted messaging apps by members of Donald Trump’s administration, Politico reports.
In a letter to leaders of the House Oversight Committee, President Donald Trump’s Deputy Assistant Marc Short wrote “The White House and covered employees endeavor to comply with all relevant laws,” arguing officials have been directed to comply fully with “applicable record keeping requirements.”
On Sept. 25, Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) had sent a request to the White House after Politico reported some Trump aides, including Jared Kushner, used a private email account created in tandem with their official White House emails. According to Politico, Kushner occasionally used his private account to conduct government business.
“With numerous public revelations of senior executive branch employees deliberately trying to circumvent these laws by using personal, private, or alias email addresses to conduct official government business, the Committee has aimed to use its oversight and investigative resources to prevent and deter misuse of private forms of written communication,” the lawmakers wrote, asking for specific details on any accounts that may have been used in an official capacity by members of the Trump administration.
In response, Short replied simply employees, “endeavor to comply with all relevant laws.”
An aide to Gowdy told Politico lawmakers "are currently in the process of evaluating whether there has been compliance, partial compliance or non-compliance" by the White House.
"We expect full compliance," the aide said.
House oversight member Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) told Politico the White House “has completely blown off’ requests by the committee regarding both private email use and travel requests made by Trump administration officials.
"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," Connolly said. ”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.”