A House committee authorized issuing subpoenas to the White House for records and documents tied to the use of private texts and emails for official business by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and other officials.
Representative Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee accused Democrats on the panel of seeking a way Thursday to rebound from the “total bust” of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s House testimony the previous day. All 23 Democrats on the committee voted in favor of issuing the subpoenas, and all 16 Republicans opposed the action.
The Oversight subpoenas also will demand all communications discussing whether the private messages contain classified information, including those sent through encrypted applications such as WhatsApp.
“The White House has refused to produce even a single document,” said Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings of Maryland, referring to committee requests for documents. Cummings said the use of such private communication channels for official business is in violation of the Presidential Record Act of 1978.
“It is the law,” Cummings said. “It makes clear that White House records belong to the public, not the president.”
Democrats accused Republicans of a double standard for defending the president’s family after going after Democrat Hillary Clinton so aggressively for her use of a private email server for official communications when she was secretary of state. Donald Trump frequently led campaign crowds in chants of “lock her up” in his winning 2016 campaign against Clinton.
There was no immediate comment from the White House. Ivanka Trump is President Trump’s daughter, Kushner is her husband and both are White House advisers.