The Democratic head of a USA congressional investigative panel is pressing the White House for information on whether Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, used the encrypted WhatsApp messaging service and private email to communicate sensitive or classified information with foreign leaders.
Jared Kushner's alleged use of private WhatsApp messaging to conduct official business is reminiscent of his previously reported attempts to set up a secret back channel to speak with Russian officials before President Donald Trump's inauguration, a member of the House Judiciary Committee said.
The lawyer denied telling Congress members Kushner had communicated through any app with foreign "leaders" or "officials" but said that instead Kushner had used such apps for communicating with "some people", whom he did not specify. When asked, Lowell said, "That's above my pay grade", and referred questions to the White House and the National Security Council, according to Cummings' letter.
Meanwhile, the committee said that Ivanka had been receiving official emails on her personal account, and has not been forwarding them to her official White House account as required by law.
House Democrats are pressing the White House to turn over information and documents related to an investigation into whether some of President Trump's advisers, including daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, violated federal records law, threatening to take "alternative means" if the administration does not comply.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone responded on March 21, refusing the request.
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If this is not done reliably, the use of private accounts can put official records beyond the reach of journalists, lawmakers and others who seek publicly available information. If he did, it would be "a major security breach", Mr. Cummings said.
Ivanka Trump, an adviser to the president, also "continues to receive emails relating to official business on her personal email account", wrote Cummings, adding that she does not always forward the correspondence to her official account as the Presidential Records Act demands.
The allegations from Democrats that some of Trump's closest confidants - as well as former officials Steve Bannon and K.T. McFarland - used personal email come as Trump continues to attack Hillary Clinton for using a private email system when serving as secretary of state. He said his comments to the committee involved Ivanka's email use before September 2017.
He said documents were due January 11, and the White House has failed to provide any additional documents for the committee's bipartisan investigation.
"Congress can not require the president to disclose confidential communications with foreign leaders".
"It is settled law that the Constitution entrusts the conduct of foreign relations exclusively to the Executive Branch, as it makes the President 'the sole organ of the federal government in the field of global relations, '" Cipollone continued.