After chants of “lock her up” – her being then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton - during Donald Trump’s campaign, the new White House administration is committing the same email sin, according to reports.
Counselor Kellyanne Conway, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, chief strategist and senior counselor Stephen Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner (Trump’s son-in-law) all had private RNC emails, Newsweek reported on Wednesday afternoon.
Since the initial report, the RNC deleted the emails of Bannon, Kushner and Conway, Newsweek reported.
Separate political email accounts is not illegal and engaging in political activities (like arranging a re-election campaign dinner) during government hours would violate the Hatch Act of 1939. In that respect, separate email accounts would make sense.
It is still unclear what Bannon, Kushner and Conway used the RNC accounts for, but if they did use them, they must comply with the “Disclosure Requirement For Official Business Conducted Using Electronic Messaging Accounts" law.
That law, effective in 2014, states that if White House staffers used the RNC email for any White House business, the emails must either be copied or forwarded into the government system within 20 days.
“They better be careful after making such a huge ruckus over the private email over at the State Department,” former Bush administration attorney Richard Painter said, Newsweek reported.
U.S. intelligence found that the RNC email server was hacked during the 2016 presidential election, according to reports.
Some in the Obama White House had unofficial accounts with the DNC, but a former staffer told Newsweek that all official business had to be conducted on White House servers “on day one.”
“This was drummed into us constantly,” the former Obama official said, Newsweek reported.
During President George W. Bush’s administration, 22 emails on the rnchq.org email system were “lost” and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called the 2007 incident a way to dodge transparency.
President Obama’s administration found the emails after private lawsuits were filed, but the Bush administration emails are archived and withheld from the public by the national security shield, The Hill reported.