Following new reports that Ivanka Trump used a personal email account for government business, prominent critics on both sides of the political aisle have denounced the senior White House adviser’s actions.
Two former top Trump administration aides appeared on CNN Tuesday to describe the behavior as hypocritical given the intense criticism of then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s email use during the 2016 presidential campaign.
At least one legal expert is downplaying the report, however, describing it as a “non-issue” in a Fox News Channel interview.
“The Case Against Impeaching Trump” author Alan Dershowitz acknowledged there was “hypocrisy on parade” across the political spectrum on the issue of email use.
Whether by Hillary Clinton or Ivanka Trump, he urged Americans to stop treating such behavior as a significant malfeasance.
“Each side uses whatever argument they can to help bolster their partisan position,” Dershowitz said. “Look, everybody uses private emails. We now have a list of probably a dozen people in public life who have used emails.”
In comparing the two cases, he pointed to a statement by Trump’s spokesperson in casting her email use as even less serious than Clinton’s.
“Apparently, Ivanka Trump used the emails only for scheduling purposes,” Dershowitz said. “There was no classified material. The emails were all preserved. It’s a non-issue.”
Dismissing the current debate as “just partisan bickering,” he denounced the effort to turn email correspondences into evidence of criminal conduct.
“We should not be criminalizing the use of private emails, whether by Hillary Clinton or by Ivanka Trump,” he said. “And we should put that issue behind us.”
Former Trump White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci appeared on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning to discuss the developments against the president’s daughter.
“Well, certainly I think it’s hypocritical,” he said. “I think even Ivanka, if she was interviewed about it, she’d have to say it was a mistake. You can’t do that in that position.”
Former White House legislative affairs director Marc Short expressed a similar opinion during an appearance on the same show.
Spokesman Peter Mirijanian acknowledged Ivanka Trump used a private email for a short period after entering the government, which he said was “almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family.”
He went on to address what he called “misinformation” surrounding the story, stating that “she did not create a private server in her house or office, there was never classified information transmitted, the account was never transferred or housed at Trump Organization, no emails were ever deleted, and the emails have been retained in the official account in conformity with records preservation laws and rules.”
After fielding concerns about the practice more than a year ago, Mirijanian said Trump “reviewed and verified her email use with the White House Counsel and explained the issue to congressional leaders.”