Ivanka Trump’s and Jared Kushner’s roles in the administration are highly unusual and have raised concerns about the violation of federal nepotism rules, the risk of disclosing classified information, as well as the wide policy portfolios they have been given despite a lack of expertise or background in those issues.
In January 2017, as Jared Kushner received approval from the Office of Government Ethics to allow him to work in the White House, it was initially reported that Ms. Trump would not take a formal role in the administration. After it was announced in late March 2017 that she would officially become a federal employee in the White House, American Oversight submitted FOIA requests seeking communications between Ivanka Trump and several federal agencies, eventually filing a lawsuit against the agencies for failure to respond.
In September 2017, documents released by American Oversight as well as independent news reports confirmed that both Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump had been using personal, private email accounts during their time working in the White House. Reports also surfaced that they had set up a private server, ijkfamily.com, in December 2016 in preparation for Kushner to join the White House.
On November 19, 2018, the Washington Post reported that Ms. Trump used a personal account to send hundreds of emails to White House aides and cabinet officials — a fact that White House officials only learned of because of American Oversight’s record requests — in probable violation of the Presidential Records Act, which requires that all official White House communications be preserved.
Following the Washington Post report, American Oversight sent a letter demanding that Congress investigate Ms. Trump’s use of personal email and possible violations of the law, as well as risks to national security.