Jared Kushner Accused of Using WhatsApp to Conduct Official White House Business

White House senior adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has reportedly relied on encrypted messaging service WhatsApp to conduct official White House business.

The information came to light in a December 19th meeting between Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, which was made public for the first time on Thursday, Politico reports.

Cummings, the House Oversight Committee chairman, wrote in a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone on Thursday that the committee received information from Lowell that Kushner “continues to use” the messaging service for government work, and demanded documents related to White House officials’ use of private email for government work, The Hill reports.

According to Cummings, Lowell told the committee Kushner sent screenshots of messages from WhatsApp to his official White House email or the National Security Council, and said Kushner was in compliance with the law, ABC News reports. Under the Presidential Records Act, White House officials are prohibited from using non-official email accounts or messaging applications without forwarding those messages to their official accounts within 20 days.

Lowell did not say whether Kushner used the messaging service to discuss classified information.

“That’s above my pay grade,” Lowell told the lawmakers, per Cummings’ letter.

Kushner, who oversees the White House’s policies in the Middle East, has reportedly communicated with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman via WhatsApp.

Lowell disputed some of Cummings’ remarks in his letter to the White House about their conversation, suggesting that he told Cummings and Gowdy that he was not the authority on Kushner’s use of WhatsApp and that those questions should be directed to the White House counsel’s office.

“I specifically said that ‘If there was a question about Jared’s use of WhatsApp, that is a question for White House counsel, not me,’” Lowell wrote in his response letter.

“I did convey that Mr. Kushner follows the protocols (including the handling of classified information) as he has been instructed to do,” he added.

White House spokesman Steven Groves acknowledged receiving Cummings’ letter, saying, “The White House has received Chairman Cummings’ letter of March 21st. As with all properly authorized oversight requests, the White House will review the letter and will provide a reasonable response in due course.”

The committee chairman is investigating possible violations of federal record-keeping laws by Kushner, senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump and other current and former White House officials, ABC News reports. Cummings has asked for lists of White House officials that have used personal email accounts and messaging services to conduct official business, as well as the archiving process for electronic communications at the White House.

Cummings, who has blasted the White House for failing to provide documents that have been repeatedly requested, has given the White House until April 4th to cooperate with the Oversight Committee’s investigation voluntarily, The Hill reports.

“The White House’s failure to provide documents and information is obstructing the Committee’s investigation into allegations of violations of federal records laws by White House officials,” Cummings wrote. “In fact, as you know, the White House has not produced a single piece of paper to the Committee in the 116th Congress — in this or any other investigation.”