Ivanka Trump’s and Jared Kushner’s Roles in the Administration

Ivanka Trump used personal email for government business on hundreds of occasions in 2017, a discovery sparked by American Oversight's FOIA requests and litigation. The president’s family is not above the law, and Congress should investigate Ms. Trump’s likely violations of records rules and potential mishandling of classified information. With her and her husband, Jared Kushner, occupying positions of power and influence within the White House, it is important for the public to understand how they are carrying out their duties and whether they are obeying the law.

Background

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 Ivanka 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 Kushner and Ivanka 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 Ivanka Trump used a personal account to send hundreds of emails to White House aides and cabinet officials — a fact 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 Ivanka Trump’s use of personal email and possible violations of the law, as well as risks to national security.

Still, Ivanka Trump and Kushner continue to push the boundaries of their influence in the Trump administration, from their reported unnecessary use of military transport to their potential involvement in the renewal of leases for a Chilean mining company owned by the family of their Washington, D.C. landlord. Kushner has led multiple delegations to the Middle East, including one in February 2019. He reportedly traveled with Jason Greenblatt, then the president’s special envoy for Middle East peace, aides, and State Department officials. Likewise, Ivanka Trump has made public displays of her political reach, including attending the 2019 G20 summit alongside elected leaders from all over the world.

What We’re Seeking

  • Emails sent between Ivanka Trump or Jared Kushner and multiple federal agencies using non-governmental email accounts;
  • Communications of multiple federal agencies with White House officials and Ivanka Trump’s private law firms regarding her use of personal email for official business;
  • Records and communications from the Department of State pertaining to Kushner’s delegations to the Middle East; 
  • Department of the Interior records concerning Twin Metals’ mining leases, which are held by a subsidiary of a company owned by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s landlord; and 
  • Records from the Department of the Treasury and communications with Secretary Steven Mnuchin concerning inappropriate use of taxpayer-funded military transport.

Updates

New Lawsuit Seeks State Department Records of Jared Kushner’s Middle East Trips

September 12, 2019
American Oversight sued the State Department for records related to Jared Kushner-led delegations and escalating U.S.-Iran tensions.

New Lawsuit in Investigation of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s Use of Military Transport

August 1, 2019
We want to know whether the president’s daughter and son-in-law habitually invited Steven Mnuchin on trips so that they could travel on Air Force planes.

American Oversight Sues Federal Agencies for Evidence of Jared Kushner Personal Email Use

November 21, 2018
American Oversight today sued six federal agencies to uncover the extent of Jared Kushner's use of personal email for official governmental business. The suit comes the same week as news broke that his wife, Ivanka Trump, used personal email to conduct White House business on hundreds of occasions in 2017 — which White House officials only discovered when a May 2017 lawsuit filed by American Oversight sparked an internal review. 
Show all updates

Related Documents

September 23, 2019

FHFA Communications Regarding Kushner Companies

Federal Housing Finance Agency
Agency Record
September 12, 2019

Complaint: American Oversight v. State – Jared Kushner’s Delegation to the Middle East

Department of State
Litigation
September 9, 2019

FOIA to State seeking communications between Ambassador Friedman and Selected White House Advisers Regarding Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s Visit to Israel

Department of State
FOIA Request
September 5, 2019

FOIA to Treasury for Records of Mnuchin Dinners with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

Department of the Treasury
FOIA Request
August 30, 2019

USDA Communications with Law Firms Regarding Ivanka Trump’s Use of Personal Email For Official Government Business

Department of Agriculture
Agency Record
August 14, 2019

No Records Response from DHS Regarding Ivanka Trump Personal Email Use

Department of Homeland Security
Agency Reply
August 6, 2019

State Records Regarding Communications Between the Trump Organization and Jared Kushner

Department of State
Agency Record
August 1, 2019

Complaint: American Oversight v. Treasury – Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s Use of Military Transport

Department of the Treasury
Litigation
July 23, 2019

State Records Regarding Jared Kushner’s Personal Email Address

Department of State
Agency Record
July 19, 2019

No Records Response from VA Regarding Communications with Ivanka Trump’s Personal Email

Department of Veterans Affairs
Agency Reply
July 10, 2019

USTR Records Regarding a ‘Trade Messaging’ Meeting with Jared Kushner and Frank Luntz

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Agency Record
May 31, 2019

VA Memos Concerning Record Preservation Guidance

Department of Veterans Affairs
Agency Record
May 29, 2019

No Records Response from USTR Regarding Communications on WhatsApp Between Jared Kushner and Ambassador Lighthizer

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Agency Reply
May 1, 2019

FOIA to HUD Seeking WhatsApp Messages Between Jared Kushner and HUD Officials

Department of Housing and Urban Development
FOIA Request
May 1, 2019

FOIA to OMB Seeking WhatsApp Messages Between Jared Kushner and Mick Mulvaney

Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
May 1, 2019

FOIA to State Seeking WhatsApp Messages Between Jared Kushner and State Officials

Department of State
FOIA Request
April 30, 2019

FOIA to DOI Office of the Solicitor Seeking Records Relating to Twin Metals’s Mining Leases

Department of the Interior
FOIA Request
April 18, 2019

FOIA to Treasury Seeking Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Communications with Steve Mnuchin

FOIA Request
April 16, 2019

FOIA to State Seeking Communications Regarding the February 2019 Delegation to the Middle East

Department of State
FOIA Request
April 16, 2019

FOIA to State Seeking Communications Sent by State Officials During the February 2019 Delegation to the Middle East

Department of State
FOIA Request
April 16, 2019

FOIA to State Seeking Records Containing Trip Details Regarding the February 2019 Delegation to the Middle East

Department of State
FOIA Request
April 2, 2019

State Department Records of Communications Between the U.S. Embassy in China and Jared Kushner

Department of State
Agency Record
February 14, 2019

No Records Response from DOE Regarding Communications with Ivanka Trump and Law Firms

Agency Reply
January 10, 2019

No Records Response from DOD Regarding Ivanka Trump Use of Personal Email for Government Business

Department of Defense
Agency Reply
December 11, 2018

SBA Correspondence with Ivanka Trump

Small Business Administration
Agency Record
November 21, 2018

Complaint: American Oversight v. DOD, HHS, DOJ, DHS, State, and Treasury – Jared Kushner Personal Email Use

Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Treasury
Litigation
November 20, 2018

FOIA to NARA Regarding Ivanka Trump’s Use of Personal Email and the Presidential Records Act

National Archives and Records Administration
FOIA Request
November 20, 2018

FOIA to DOJ Regarding Ivanka Trump’s Use of Personal Email and American Oversight’s Lawsuit Production Schedule

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
November 20, 2018

FOIA to Multiple Agencies Seeking Communications Regarding Ivanka Trump’s Use of Personal Email

Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Small Business Administration
FOIA Request
November 20, 2018

FOIA to DOJ Seeking Communications Regarding Ivanka Trump’s Use of Personal Email

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
November 20, 2018

FOIA to DOJ Regarding Ivanka Trump’s Use of Personal Email and American Oversight’s Lawsuit

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
November 20, 2018

Letter: Call for Congressional Investigation of Ivanka Trump Personal Email Use

Congress
June 5, 2018

FBI Response Regarding Request for Kushner’s Signature Pages

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Agency Reply
June 5, 2018

FBI Response Regarding Request for Kushner’s Most Recent SF-86

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Agency Reply
June 5, 2018

FBI Response Regarding Request for Correspondence With Kushner’s SF 86

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Agency Reply
May 30, 2018

Department of Education Emails with Ivanka Trump and Staff

Department of Education
Agency Record
February 23, 2018

FOIA to DOJ/FBI Regarding Kushner Clearance

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
FOIA Request
February 23, 2018

FOIA Seeking Kushner Security Clearance Signatures

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
FOIA Request
February 23, 2018

FOIA to DOJ/FBI Seeking Kushner’s Most Recent SF-86

Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
FOIA Request
November 30, 2017

Commerce Department Ivanka Trump Emails

Department of Commerce
Agency Record
November 7, 2017

No Records Response From OMB Regarding Jared Kushner’s Emails

Office of Management and Budget
Agency Reply
November 2, 2017

No Records Response with OSTP Regarding Jared Kushner’s Emails

Office of Science and Technology Policy
Agency Reply
October 31, 2017

Treasury Department Ivanka Trump Emails

Department of the Treasury
Agency Record
October 31, 2017

Labor Department Ivanka Trump Staff Emails

Department of Labor
Agency Record
September 26, 2017

FOIA to State Regarding Kushner Emails

Department of State
FOIA Request
September 26, 2017

FOIA to Treasury Regarding Kushner Emails

Department of the Treasury
FOIA Request
September 26, 2017

FOIA to OSTP Regarding Kushner Emails

Office of Science and Technology Policy
FOIA Request
September 26, 2017

FOIA to Office of Management and Budget Regarding Kushner Emails

Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
September 26, 2017

FOIA to Health and Human Services Regarding Kushner Emails

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
September 26, 2017

FOIA to Department of Justice Regarding Kushner Emails

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
September 26, 2017

FOIA to Department of Defense Regarding Kushner Emails

Department of Defense
FOIA Request
September 26, 2017

FOIA to Department of Homeland Security Regarding Kushner Emails

Department of Homeland Security
FOIA Request
August 31, 2017

Labor Department Correspondence with Ivanka Trump Staff

Department of Labor
Agency Record
July 7, 2017

No Records Response From Commerce Regarding Ivanka Emails

Department of Commerce
Agency Reply
June 8, 2017

OPM No Responsive Records for FOIA Request about Ivanka Trump

Office of Personnel Management
Agency Reply
May 17, 2017

Complaint: American Oversight v. Department of Commerce et.al. – Ivanka Emails

Department of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Labor, Department of the Treasury, Small Business Administration
Litigation
May 11, 2017

FOIA Request to OPM Vetting for Ivanka Trump

Office of Personnel Management
FOIA Request
March 31, 2017

FOIA Request to DOL Seeking Communications and Records of Meetings with Ivanka Trump

Department of Labor
FOIA Request
March 31, 2017

FOIA Request to Education Seeking Communications and Records of Meetings with Ivanka Trump

Department of Education
FOIA Request
March 31, 2017

FOIA Request to SBA Seeking Communications and Records of Meetings with Ivanka Trump

Small Business Administration
FOIA Request
March 31, 2017

FOIA to Commerce Seeking Communications and Records of Meetings with Ivanka Trump

Department of Commerce
FOIA Request
March 31, 2017

FOIA to Treasury Seeking Communications and Records of Meetings with Ivanka Trump

Department of the Treasury
FOIA Request