Is Ivanka Trump’s Email Scandal as Bad as Hillary’s?
During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump called his opponent “Crooked Hillary” for using a personal email account to send hundreds of government-related emails. His supporters chanted “Lock her up!” at his rallies.
Now his daughter and adviser Ivanka is under criticism for … using a personal email account to send hundreds of government-related emails. And liberals have jumped on him for it. Conservatives defended him. Who’s right?
The liberal watchdog group American Oversight discovered the emails through a public records request. It claims “the parallels between Ms. Trump’s conduct and that of Secretary Clinton are inescapable.”
In contrast, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) tweeted: “There are over 30,000 BleachBit reasons why the Hillary Clinton email scandal isn’t even close to the Ivanka email issue.” Ivanka’s attorney’s spokesman, Peter Mirijanian, defended her actions. “While transitioning into government … Ms. Trump sometimes used her private account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family.”
Trump also defended his daughter. “They weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton. They weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton, who deleted 33,000. She wasn’t doing anything to hide her emails. I looked at it just very briefly today and the presidential records — they’re all in presidential records. There was no hiding,” he told reporters. “There was no server in the basement like Hillary Clinton had.”
He continued: “you were talking about a whole different, you’re talking about fake news. So what Ivanka did, it’s all in the presidential records. Everything is there.”
One key difference between the two: Ivanka’s emails didn’t contain classified information. Many dealt with travel arrangements or child care.
Clinton claimed none of the emails she sent or received contained classified information, but they did. The FBI found 110 emails contained classified information at the time they were sent or received. Of those, 22 were “top secret” — the highest classification level. The State Department retroactively classified another 2,093 emails not marked classified.
Another key difference: Ivanka didn’t delete any of her emails. She kept all of them. A computer specialist deleted thousands of Clinton’s. Deleted them while congress investigated her. Additionally, Clinton had staff take a hammer to her blackberry and other devices. The Presidential Records Act requires that all official White House communications and records be preserved.
A third difference: Unlike Clinton, Ivanka wasn’t running a private email server out of her home. Ivanka’s emails were stored on a Go Daddy server. Clinton also set up email addresses on her private server for two aides. Why did this matter? Because her private email account was not properly secured as government email is supposed to be. Her server was not secure. The Romanian hacker Guccifer, in U.S. prison on felony hacking charges, claims he hacked into it more than once.
Clinton didn’t bother to use an official government email account at all. She conducted all of her government business over her unsecured private email account. Ivanka used an official email account for much of her government business.
62,320 Unsecured Emails
Clinton said she sent or received 62,320 emails during her time as secretary of state. This is far more than the few hundred emails Ivanka is accused of sending from her private email account.
Clinton signed an affidavit in 2015 swearing she had turned over all copies of government records from her time in office. But the FBI found several thousand work-related emails that were not turned over to the State Department. In contrast, Ivanka is fully cooperating. She is turning over the several hundred emails in question.
Clinton claimed she could only use her private email address because she could only have one email account on her Blackberry. But in February 2015, she told a television interviewer that she carries multiple devices. They include an iPhone, iPad and iPad mini.
The FBI declined in 2016 to bring charges against Clinton. They determined she was merely “extremely careless,” not criminal. But Bradley P. Moss, a Washington, DC-based lawyer specializing in national security, says otherwise. “It was a serious breach of protocol and anyone else would have had their security clearance revoked,” he told Business Insider.
GOP congressional leaders have started an investigation into Ivanka’s emails. They’re not giving her a free pass just because she’s a Republican daughter and aide to a Republican president. Contrast that with Clinton’s fellow Democrats. They let her off the hook.
Now that Democrats have won back the House, they may escalate things even more. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-M.D.) has called for an FBI investigation. Ivanka’s husband Jared also used a personal email account a few times for official government business. Democrats will be looking into his emails too. But what can they do to Ivanka and her husband, considering nothing happened to Clinton when she did something worse?