I generally stay away from politics in this blog, but this item is an interesting intersection of security and politics. And, it is pretty unique. Most non-public sector businesses don’t have to worry about this. While they may or may not let employees use their business email for personal reasons, there are no laws or regulations governing that. Which makes this situation unique. And very interesting. Sooooo…..
Politicians are an interesting breed.
After Trump spent months on the campaign trail saying that Hillary Clinton was a criminal for using a private email server, that she risked state secrets and that she should be locked up, Newsweek is reporting that Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon have active email accounts on the private RNC email server.
This is the same email system that George W. Bush used and on which he misplaced 22 million emails. You may remember that Trump also complained about some 30,000 emails on Hillary’s private email server that were deleted.
Politicians can talk out of one side of their mouth to complain about what an opponent does and then do it themselves.
Now that it has come to light, the staffers are no longer using those accounts.
But, just like Trump complained about Hillary, we have no idea what the senior Trump staff may have used that server for.
We do believe that Bush used that very same server to evade transparency rules.
We have not yet heard from the White House that while they may no longer be using the RNC email server that they are not using any other private email servers.
This is the same kind of servers that Trump complained about on the campaign trail were not secure. And, at least until yesterday, they, themselves, were using.
Of course we have no idea what they used those email accounts for – or didn’t. The law does NOT prohibit them from using private email accounts for non-government business. It does require them to forward any government business email that is received on a private account to the government within 20 days.
A former Obama White House official said that they were trained on the issue of using private emails from day 1 and a former Obama administration lawyer said that they did an enormous amount of training on compliance.
That being said, we likely will never know what is on these servers – those accounts were likely wiped within an inch of their life.
Part of the problem is that some White House staff work part time or in an unpaid capacity for the RNC. As soon as that happens, mischief is almost certain to follow.
Since FBI Director Comey said that Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server was “extremely careless”, I assume he will come out as publicly and as vocally about the Trump team’s use of similar servers.
The RNC said that those email accounts were only used for email distribution lists. Who knows. That is certainly possible. Or not.
We definitely live in interesting times.
Information for this post came from Newsweek.