Jul 25, 2019

House Oversight to subpoena White House private emails, WhatsApp messages

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee voted along party lines Thursday to authorize subpoenas for official communications records sent via "non-official electronic messaging accounts by non-career officials at the White House," including Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

The big picture: Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) previously requested that top White House officials voluntarily turn over all official communications sent via private channels, including Kushner's encrypted WhatsApp messages with foreign officials, to uphold the Presidential Records Act. The White House refused to cooperate and is likely to defy the new subpoenas, setting up yet another court fight.

Cummings said in a statement:

“The Committee has obtained direct evidence that multiple high-level White House officials have been violating the Presidential Records Act by using personal email accounts, text messaging services, and even encrypted applications for official business — and not preserving those records in compliance with federal law.  What we do not yet know is why these White House officials were attempting to conceal these communications. Although our Committee’s investigation began as a bipartisan inquiry under former Chairmen Chaffetz and Gowdy, the White House has refused to produce a single piece of paper in this investigation for this entire year, which is why today’s subpoena has become necessary.”

Read the subpoena resolution:

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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

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Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.