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First daughter faux pas

Hypocrisy. There is no other word to describe reports that presidential daughter and Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump used her private email hundreds of times to deal with government business. The irony? That’s exactly what her father used as ammunition against 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the elections, after she had been discovered to have done the same.

“Crooked Hillary,” as Trump labeled her, was subject to an intense investigation as to whether her use of a private email account and server while secretary of state was illegal. Now, it turns out, the first daughter acted similarly, sending hundreds of emails last year to aides in the White House, members of the Cabinet and numerous assistants on her private account. 

According to The Washington Post, White House ethics officials “learned of Trump’s repeated use of personal email when reviewing emails gathered last fall” when Cabinet agencies prepared to respond to a public records lawsuit. According to the review, Ivanka regularly relied on her personal email account to conduct official White House business during much of 2017, on an account shared with husband and Trump Senior Advisor Jared Kushner.

Not only that, but when questioned about the offense, Ivanka reportedly responded that she was ignorant of the rules. That seems far-fetched, considering how regularly her father branded Clinton as crooked, with chants of “lock her up” reverberating at practically all of his campaign rallies.

So, now the question is what is the White House going to do about it? While the FBI recommended Clinton not be charged criminally for her practices, it seems reasonable that Ivanka wouldn’t face criminal charges either. We get that. But, if her father’s outcries against his opponent (which he still bemoans) are to be consistent — and genuine — she would. 

Clinton was called “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information by then-FBI Director James Comey. We agree. Surely, we can say the same of Ivanka, though there’s been no confirmation to what degree the data she shared was classified. But it was government business. White House business. It should be handled officially, through the proper channels. And that goes if it’s at the hands of Hillary Clinton or Ivanka Trump — proper procedure is proper procedure.

We need to establish standards, accountability. And, really, they are established. There are federal records rules, including the Presidential Records Act, which require all official White House communications be preserved — a mandate that could be eluded through the use of personal email communications. 

What discipline should the first daughter face? She won’t be fired. She probably won’t even be reprimanded. But, considering that the president just recently tweeted about Clinton’s emails, it would be nice to see some kind of acknowledgment of wrongdoing from the White House.

“FBI ignored tens of thousands of Crooked Hillary Emails, many of which are REALLY BAD,” Trump tweeted. “At some point I may have to get involved!”

Let’s see how involved he gets in Ivanka’s case. Who knows, he might surprise us and show some consistency. But if the past two years prove anything, that would seem highly unlikely. It will be interesting to watch, though, and see it play out to the end. It leaves one wondering: What’s Hillary thinking?