White House rejects Democrats’ demands for information on Trump-Putin talks

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Last year, The Washington Post reported that Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails about government business from a personal email account to White House aides, Cabinet members and her assistant.

In a letter on Thursday, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said that Ivanka Trump's attorney, Abbe Lowell, informed the committee a year ago that her client did not preserve emails if she does not respond to them. He told the committee at their meeting "now she always forwards official business to her White House account".

The White House didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Kushner is a senior White House adviser and the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, overseeing the administration's Middle East policies among other issues.

Asked how Kushner, Ivanka Trump's husband, preserved his communications, as required by law, Lowell said he took "screen shots" of them and forwarded them to his official email account or to the National Security Council.

The chairmen of the House of Representatives Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees asked the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in early March for documents and interviews about Trump's conversations with Putin.

The request for information about communications with Putin followed the House Judiciary Committee's demand for documents from a who's who of Trump's circle, targeting 81 people, government agencies and other groups in an investigation of possible obstruction of justice or abuse of power.

The White House refusal marks the latest move in the ongoing fight between the Trump administration and House Democrats looking to flex their oversight muscles since retaking control of the lower chamber of Congress in January.

Cummings said Lowell told him the first daughter continues to use her personal email account for official communication.

Cummings suggested that the practice is in violation of the Presidential Records Act, according to The Associated Press.

Mr Cummings also wrote that his committee has obtained new information about other White House officials that raises additional security and federal records concerns about the use of private e-mail and messaging applications. The White House sent a letter to Schiff and other committee chairmen explaining why it had refused to hand over communications with Russian Federation.

Cummings said that Trump's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, told the committee that Trump doesn't preserve official emails she receives in her personal account if she doesn't respond to them.

Bannon also received a January 29, 2017, email from Barrack that Cummings said was a pitch of the plan sent to inform "Bannon's official work relating to developing 'broader Middle East policy'". "As with all properly authorized oversight requests, the White House will review the letter and will provide a reasonable response in due course", Groves added. "While we respectfully seek to accommodate appropriate oversight requests, we are unaware of any precedent supporting such sweeping requests".

Regarding Mr Trump's communications with Mr Putin, Mr Cummings, House Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff and Foreign Affairs chairman Eliot Engel say they are examining the substance of in-person meetings and phone calls, the effects on foreign policy, and whether anyone has sought to hide those communications.

"F$3 rom the Nation's beginning, Presidents from all political parties have determined that the law does not require the Executive Branch to provide Congress with documents relating to confidential diplomatic communications between the President and foreign leaders".

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