It appears many members of Trump’s administration are guilty of using a private email server for their email…the very same crime Trump accused Hillary Clinton of throughout the presidential campaign.
Several Trump staffers including Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon, have active accounts on a Republican National Committee email system. The system (rnchq.org) is the same one the George W. Bush administration was accused of using to evade transparency rules after claiming to have “lost” 22 million emails.
It’s not clear whether or how Trump staffers are using the RNC email addresses. If they are using them, they are subject to the “Disclosure Requirement For Official Business Conducted Using Electronic Messaging Accounts,” a law, 44 U.S.C. 2209, that went into effect in 2014. If White House staffers have already used the RNC emails system for White House work, they must copy or forward those communications into the government system within 20 days.
The Disclosure Requirement was passed to prevent presidents from shielding communications that fall under the Presidential Records Act of 1978. The last time White House staffers used the same RNC email system, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) described it as an attempt to circumvent transparency. CREW Director Melanie Sloan charged in 2007 that the Bush White House was using the RNC email system because “they don’t want anyone ever to be able to come back and see what was going on behind the scenes.”
The controversial system was involved in the loss of some of 22 million emails—many from around the time of the lead-up to and the first months of the Iraq War. Private lawsuits eventually forced the Obama administration to find Bush’s lost emails. They have since been turned over the National Archives, but remain under national security shield and have not been made available to the public.
Remember, the RNC server was hacked during the 2016 election, so these staffers are using an unsecured system that has already been compromised. Should we “lock them up”?