Oct 24, 2019

National Archives launches inquiry into Wilbur Ross' private emails

Wilbur Ross. Photo: Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

The National Archives and Records Administration has initiated an investigation into Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross' use of private email to conduct official business, Politico reports.

The big picture: Reports have emerged of eight current and former Trump administration officials who used personal email accounts for government business, including senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump.

Flashback: Hillary Clinton was grilled by conservatives during her presidential run in 2016 for her use of a private email server as U.S. secretary of state.

Driving the news: The investigation was launched after the Washington Post reported a watchdog group filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and obtained evidence that Ross used personal accounts to send and receive correspondence with European trade officials, details on meetings with German auto manufacturers and billionaire Bill Koch.

  • The National Archives sent a letter to the Department of Commerce on Oct. 9, citing FOIA which "prohibits employees from creating or sending a record using a non-official messaging account unless the employee copies his or her official email account when the record is first transmitted, or forwards a complete copy of the record to the official email account within 20 days of the record's original transmission."
  • A spokesperson from the Commerce Department told Axios: "We look forward to engaging and cooperating with the National Archives and Records Administration on their investigation, which originated from baseless allegations in news reports."

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Impeachment inquiry: What to watch in the week ahead

Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images

The pace of House Democrats' investigation into President Trump and Ukraine will accelerate this week with a series of hearings from key administration officials, including a highly anticipated appearance from a top official on the National Security Council.

What we're watching: Tim Morrison, the NSC's Russia and Europe director, will be the first currently serving White House official to testify before the committees on Thursday. He's also the first official who is believed to have been on the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which is at the crux of the Dems' inquiry.

Go deeperArrowOct 27, 2019

WSJ: Sondland emails show he briefed Trump admin officials on Ukraine

Gordon Sondland. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the EU, briefed senior administration officials on efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of President Trump's July 25 call with the Ukrainian leader, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Emails allegedly sent by Sondland that were obtained by WSJ indicate that several other officials can confirm what some witnesses have testified to already about a Trump administration request to investigate Burisma, the gas company with ties to Biden's son.

Go deeperArrowNov 18, 2019

Scoop: New cyber memo warns of security risks, exposes leak hunt details

President Trump. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

A second internal memo on White House cybersecurity, obtained by Axios, reveals new details about how IT officials inside the Trump administration were dispatched to investigate leaks embarrassing to President Trump.

Where it stands: The memo, dated June 1, has surfaced only now amid controversy over a different memo explaining the concerns surrounding an exodus of cybersecurity staff brought in under the Obama administration to protect the White House from Russian hacking.

Go deeperArrowOct 25, 2019