Toobin rips Ivanka over using private email

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin reacts to the Washington Post's report that Ivanka Trump used her personal email for government business, saying she acted with "incredible arrogance" after Hillary Clinton was widely criticized for doing the same thing during the 2016 campaign.

Posted: Nov 21, 2018 12:46 PM
Updated: Nov 21, 2018 12:56 PM

Faced with a Washington Post report that Ivanka Trump had regularly used a private email account to conduct government business in 2017, the explanation from her side went like this: She didn't know that was wrong!

I'm not kidding.

Here's the key snippet from the Post story (bolding mine):

"Some aides were startled by the volume of Ivanka Trump's personal emails — and taken aback by her response when questioned about the practice. She said she was not familiar with some details of the rules, according to people with knowledge of her reaction."

Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Ivanka Trump lawyer Abbe Lowell, said something similar in a statement following the Post story. (Again, bolding is mine.)

"While transitioning into government, until the White House provided her the same guidance they had to others who started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her private account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family," Mirijanian said.

How. Is. That. Possible.

How could Ivanka Trump have not known -- even prior to the White House providing her "guidance" -- that using a private email account to conduct official business was a giant no-no?

As you may remember, the central attack by Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign centered on her decision to use a private email account and server while serving as secretary of state. Trump insisted that Clinton was not being fully transparent about why she used a private email server for government business -- and used that as a foothold into a broader questioning of whether the former secretary of state could be trusted with the nation's top job.

"How can Hillary run the economy when she can't even send emails without putting entire nation at risk," Trump tweeted in June 2016. A month later, he tweeted this: "The invention of email has proven to be a very bad thing for Crooked Hillary in that it has proven her to be both incompetent and a liar!"

Then there was the drama regarding the FBI's investigation into Clinton's emails -- and whether she had broken any laws regarding the transmission of classified information by using a private account. Months after announcing the FBI would not press charges against Clinton, then-FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress indicating the investigation had been re-opened due to emails found on a laptop owned by former New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner.

For her part, Clinton has blamed the Comey email announcement for her loss. "There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful," Clinton told donors shortly after her defeat. "Our analysis is that Comey's letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum."

Whether you buy that explanation from Clinton is actually beside the point. The point is this: It is literally impossible to believe, after everything that transpired during the 2016 campaign regarding Clinton's use of a private email to conduct government business, that Ivanka Trump was simply unaware that what she was doing wasn't allowed. It's just not possible.

Team Ivanka was quick to note that the two situations weren't -- and aren't -- exactly the same. Again, Mirijanian:

"To address misinformation being peddled about Ms. Trump's personal email, she did not create a private server in her house or office, there was never classified information transmitted, the account was never transferred or housed at Trump Organization, no emails were ever deleted, and the emails have been retained in the official account in conformity with records preservation laws and rules."

Which, OK. Clinton did delete a large chunk of the emails she sent from her private account after someone working for her did a broad canvas of all the emails she had sent and determined that they were entirely personal and therefore could be deleted without sharing them with investigators. (Roughly 50% of the emails on Clinton's private server were deleted, while 44% were turned over to investigators.)

And sure, there are -- at least on the surface -- some specific differences between what Clinton did and what Ivanka did. But man, in the big picture it's pretty damn similar.

The Mirijanian statement misses the point. It's stretched credulity well beyond snapping to think that Ivanka was simply blissfully unaware that what she was doing in using her private email account was totally on the up and up. No sentient being -- and certainly not one working at the top levels of government who also happens to be the eldest daughter of the President of the United States -- could have lived through the 2016 campaign and not understood this basic equation: Private emails for government business = bad.

It remains to be seen whether what Ivanka Trump did merits an official investigation -- although I strongly suspect the Democratic House will be taking a hard look come January. But what is quite clear in all of this is that Ivanka absolutely had to have known better.

Terre Haute
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 52°
Robinson
Broken Clouds
49° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 44°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 44°
Rockville
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 40°
Casey
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 39°
Brazil
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 52°
Marshall
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 52°
Breezy & Colder
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 393797

Reported Deaths: 9889
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1811085450
DuPage23780615
Lake21373514
Will19141430
Kane17421348
Winnebago10703182
St. Clair8096221
Madison7373157
McHenry6671121
Champaign639028
Unassigned4786270
Peoria474877
McLean430138
Sangamon424863
Rock Island417393
Kankakee350581
Macon330854
Tazewell280956
Kendall279730
LaSalle255465
DeKalb246942
Coles203040
Adams200422
Boone195325
Williamson193861
Clinton182829
Vermilion181011
Jackson158426
Whiteside158430
Knox136221
Randolph131415
Ogle12717
Effingham12264
Marion110220
Stephenson10759
Franklin103310
Grundy10197
Morgan98324
Monroe97130
Bureau94817
Jefferson92052
Henry8637
Christian84629
Macoupin82911
Union79925
McDonough78920
Lee7692
Douglas7339
Shelby71512
Fayette69924
Livingston69210
Woodford67615
Crawford6636
Montgomery64416
Logan6144
Saline5969
Fulton5571
Jo Daviess5369
Warren5299
Bond5189
Iroquois51519
Wayne50914
Jersey48121
Cass46811
Perry46516
Moultrie4436
Carroll43712
Pike3887
Johnson3760
Lawrence3518
Richland34218
Washington3272
Clay32413
Hancock3214
Mason3175
Clark31417
Cumberland3086
Greene29915
Mercer2876
De Witt2756
White2744
Jasper27210
Piatt2651
Pulaski2451
Wabash2415
Ford20814
Menard1881
Marshall1663
Edgar15910
Massac1582
Alexander1361
Hamilton1352
Henderson1310
Brown1170
Edwards1140
Gallatin1102
Scott1090
Putnam980
Schuyler931
Stark923
Calhoun640
Hardin560
Pope421
Out of IL10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 169112

Reported Deaths: 4227
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26448794
Lake14804364
St. Joseph9866173
Elkhart9549145
Allen8886235
Hamilton6541119
Vanderburgh626970
Tippecanoe409816
Porter361451
Hendricks3472138
Monroe342638
Johnson3352131
Delaware318577
Clark312965
Vigo288341
Madison260797
LaPorte244165
Cass232725
Kosciusko214729
Warrick208965
Floyd190569
Howard172566
Dubois153526
Marshall152829
Bartholomew150758
Wayne149833
Grant138140
Henry137730
Boone132550
Noble127335
Hancock127144
Jackson123319
Dearborn105828
Lawrence102238
Morgan100940
Gibson96712
Clinton95216
Shelby94536
Daviess94136
Knox86110
LaGrange83115
Harrison82424
Fayette81022
DeKalb80011
Putnam78817
Posey7837
Jasper7235
Miami6985
Steuben6849
Montgomery65322
White64016
Adams6177
Greene59438
Scott56916
Decatur54739
Whitley5086
Ripley5018
Wells49011
Wabash4899
Clay4757
Sullivan47414
Starke47310
Huntington4725
Spencer4336
Orange43225
Randolph42711
Fulton4118
Jefferson4095
Perry40414
Washington3983
Jennings39613
Franklin38825
Pike36718
Fountain3563
Carroll35213
Jay3516
Vermillion2871
Tipton28623
Rush2654
Parke2644
Blackford2525
Newton24111
Owen2211
Martin2050
Pulaski1814
Crawford1661
Brown1523
Ohio1377
Union1240
Benton1130
Switzerland1030
Warren1021
Unassigned0236