A new report claims that at least four senior administration staffers for President Donald Trump are using private email accounts hosted on the Republican National Committee servers. The report further adds that the practice, while not illegal, does raise question following the months-long attack of Hillary Clinton concerning her use of private email systems by Trump and his team during the campaign.
“They better be careful after making such a huge ruckus over the private email over at the State Department,” Richard Painter, a former attorney for the Bush Administration, told Newsweek.
Senior advisors Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, and Kellyanne Conway, along with press secretary Sean Spicer, are among the staffers using the RCN’s rnchq.org email system.
“If senior aides to President Trump were using private RNC servers on the afternoon after the inauguration, they have about 16 days to copy them into the official White House systems,” Tom Blanton, of the government watchdog group National Security Archive, notes. “If not, not they are in violation of the law.”
The system is the same one that President Bush’s administration used to “evade transparency rules after claiming to have ‘lost’ 22 million emails.”
According to The New York Times, as of Jan. 24, several days into office, Trump was still using his unsecured personal Android cellphone — a behavior that Trump repeatedly attacked his Democratic presidential rival Clinton for.
Furthermore, according to an October 2016 report, the Trump Organization has a history of deleting emails that relate to pending lawsuits and investigations, reports Newsweek.
During a lawsuit involving the Trump Hotels, Trump’s lawyers began systematically erasing emails.
“Despite knowing back in 2001 that Trump might want to file a lawsuit, his companies had deleted emails and other records without checking if they might be evidence in his case,” notes Newsweek. “Beginning around 2003, the company wiped clear the data from everyone’s computers every year. Lawyers for Trump Hotels had never sent out the usual communication issued during litigation instructing employees to stop destroying records that might be related to this case. The deletions continued, and backup tapes were reused — thus erasing the data they held.”
For all the chants of “lock her up” directed at Hillary Clinton during Trump’s campaign, one would think Trump and his team would now pay close attention that their behavior withstands the scrutiny of law and public trust.
Sources: Newsweek (2), The New York Times / Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr