Coates explained that Cummings could have a hard time retrieving the information he needs for his investigation if the information is not kept in an official government record.
The Democratic head of a United States congressional investigative panel is pressing the White House for information on whether Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, used the encrypted WhatsApp messaging service and private email to communicate sensitive or classified information with foreign leaders.
Trump's former national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, promoted a plan to build dozens of nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East while he was part of the administration, it was reported in 2017. When asked, Lowell said, "That's above my pay grade", and referred questions to the White House and the National Security Council, according to Cummings' letter. He said Lowell told them Kushner preserves records of his communication by taking screenshots of his WhatsApp messages and forwarding them to his official White House email. Lowell "could not answer whether Mr. Kushner's communications included classified information - which would be a major security breach", Cummings added. According to Cummings, when Lowell was asked if Kushner ever communicated classified information on WhatsApp, Lowell responded, "That's above my paygrade".
In his letter, Cummings pointed out that the White House failed to produce most of the documents requested by the Oversight panel about the use of personal email and messaging accounts by White House officials, as well as records related to other investigations about the administration's immigration policy at the U.S. -Mexico border and hush-money payments made to women alleging extramarital affairs with Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign in exchange for their silence.
Cummings says that he expects to hear back from the White House or will be forced to pursue other avenues to obtain the information he has requested.
Democrats alleged this week that White House aide Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, are breaking USA law by failing to preserve all of official government emails and other electronic communications. Cummings says that appears to violate the Presidential Records Act.
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Cummings revealed he and then-committee chairman Trey Gowdy met with Lowell on December 19, 2018 - after Democrats had won control of the House but before they had officially taken power.
His letter said others may have been involved in the practice while they worked at the White House, including former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Lowell insisted in his letter to Cummings that she forwards all communication to her official White House account.
"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". The Washington Post has reported that Trump sent hundreds of emails about government business from a personal email account to White House aides, Cabinet members and her assistant.
The lawmakers expressed concern about media reports that Trump seized notes on at least one meeting with the Russian leader and tried to destroy records about those talks.
"Presidents from all political parties have determined that the law does not require the Executive Branch to provide Congress with documents relating to confidential diplomatic communications between the President and foreign leaders ..." Cipollone argued that complying with the request would counter precedent and would have a negative impact on President Donald Trump, as well as future occupants of the Oval Office.