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White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump speak before on the South Lawn. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

The White House counsel's office started an investigation into private email use earlier this week in the wake of the news that Jared Kushner and several other senior White House officials had used private accounts to conduct government business, Politico reports in partnership with the nonprofit watchdog, Project on Government Oversight, citing "four officials familiar with the matter."

Why it matters: The probe was launched to determine if any of the emails sent are related to the Congressional and Special Counsel investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Government officials are supposed to use their government emails so their communications are stored, and for security purposes.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment for Politico but said staff should "fully comply" with the Presidential Records Act. Per Politico, the probe could take weeks or even months.

The officials listed: Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Gary Cohn, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, per the NYT. Politico reports the particular focus of the probe is on Kushner and Ivanka.

Go deeper: Report: Bannon, Priebus, Ivanka used private email in White House

Go deeper

50 mins ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.

First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.