To the extent there’s an issue at all, for that matter. ABC News’ Deborah Roberts presses Ivanka Trump to explain why people should treat her use of private e-mail any differently than Hillary Clinton’s as Secretary of State in an interview aired today on Good Morning America. Other than not transmitting classified material, not deleting half of all the messages while under subpoena, and not setting up a poorly secured server to evade constitutional oversight, Ivanka says, no difference at all:
Speaking with ABC News’ Deborah Roberts in Wilder, Idaho, where she’s promoting STEM initiatives alongside Apple CEO Tim Cook, Ivanka Trump maintained that all of the emails on her private account were properly archived and contained no classified information. She is adamant they bear no resemblance to Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, which her father eagerly and frequently condemned as part of his campaign for president.
“All of my emails are stored and preserved. There were no deletions. There is no attempt to hide,” she said, adding, “There’s no equivalency to what my father’s spoken about.”
The Washington Post first reported earlier this month that the president’s daughter had used a personal email account to conduct official government business. The president has defended his daughter’s private email use, telling reporters last week that he looked at the matter and concluded that “they’re all in presidential records.”
“There is no restriction of using personal email,” she said. “In fact, we’re instructed that if we receive an email to our personal account that could relate to government work, you simply just forward it to your government account so it can be archived.”
There may be room to criticize judgment when officials don’t strictly adhere to their official e-mail accounts, but this proposed equivalency insults the intelligence. Hillary Clinton never bothered to even acquire an official e-mail during her tenure as Secretary of State, a move that allowed State to falsely claim a lack of material on a number of occasions in court when presented with FOIA demands. It also kept Congress from demanding those records, about which they were never informed until Trey Gowdy and the Benghazi select committee accidentally stumbled onto the e-mail server’s existence in late 2014.
Clinton set up that e-mail system with the clear intent to evade the Federal Records Act, with which she only came into belated and partial compliance more than two years after she left office. Hundreds of e-mails found later contained classified information, including some carrying the highest intel classifications possible. And those were found in the records Clinton and her attorneys finally and belatedly handed over, which amounted to slightly less than half of all the e-mails that had passed through her server.
Clinton’s secret e-mail system was part of a deliberate and intentional design to corrupt legitimate oversight over her work at State by Congress and the courts, and succeeded at doing so. It was that corruption that had her political opponents demanding prosecution, and it should have resulted in legal consequences at least for the exposure of classified material in the course of that corrupt scheme. Perhaps Ivanka Trump should be more careful about ensuring that official business only comes through official accounts (and so should all public officials), but without that corruption, there is no equivalency between Ivanka and Hillary. This is just an excuse by ABC and other news media to minimize Clinton’s corruption.