The First Lady’s former adviser revealed her use of private email to conduct government business. Let's break down the facts.
Melania has been exposed by a friend and former advisor, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, for routinely using private email accounts and encrypted messaging for her White House responsibilities. Winston Wolkoff, who wrote a book about her relationship with Mrs. Trump, has been discredited by the White House and accused of rewriting history.
Why it Matters:
Recurring "Business Off The Books" Practice
The use of private not-secure communications and avoiding record-keeping of activities and communications has been an ongoing issue for the current administration since 2017. Trump himself hasn't followed security policies mandating regular cell phone swap, which might have put his communication at risk.
Melania Trump and Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, are the newest additions to the list of people within the Trump administration accused of using private email accounts and encrypted messaging. Other notable figures on this list include family members and advisors, such as Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, and senior political adviser Stephen Miller.
Political Double Standard
During the 2016 elections, Donald Trump centered his attacks on Hillary Clinton using a private email server for official public communications, which led an FBI investigation in the middle of her presidential campaign and continues to be used against her.
Contrary to this level of scrutiny against Hillary Clinton, Trump and his advisors have not been subjected to federal investigations, underscoring the deep hypocrisy of Trump’s “lock her up” campaign chants.
Archive of Official Information
Even though the First Lady is not a formal cabinet member or a government employee, her official discussion of official business, such as government hiring and schedules, could still raise legal questions. Without an investigation, private email correspondence by White House officials would curtail the Presidential Records Act, which requires official activities and communications to be permanently preserved and archived.