- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 20, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Ivanka Trump has apparently, reportedly — according to various media outlets — used her private email account for official government White House business.

And now you’ve got the leftists in the country and media drawing parallels between her email use and Hillary Clinton’s private email server, saying, seriously now, that conservatives who chanted “Lock her up” for the latter ought now, to avoid a label of hypocrisy, call for the same on the former.

Seriously now.

The difference is momentous.

In the world of political scandals, it’s like Trump took a nibble of apple while Clinton reaped an entire orchard.

Here’s the difference: Trump used her personal email account while “transitioning into government,” said Peter Mirijanian, a spokesperson for Trump’s ethics attorney, Abbe Lowell.

Clinton, on the other hand, set up a whole private email server system inside her White Plains, New York, home, which she then proceeded to use to send and receive official — and, as the FBI later noted, sensitive and top secret — information, the extent of which America will never know because 31,000 of those messages were deleted.

Potatoes, potahtoes?

That’s an understatement.

Yet the left is going nuts, thinking it’s stumbled on to its latest “impeach Trump“-like moment, and that it can somehow turn this email issue into the next Watergate.

“#Ivanka sent hundreds of emails re gov’nt business on her personal server!” screamed Hollywood’s Bette Midler on Twitter. “All I can do is repeat what her father said when Hillary did something not unlike what his First Daughter did!! LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP!!! LOCK HER UP!! How do you like it now, putz?”

Social media is buzzing with more of the same.

Meanwhile, the White House has rushed to defend.

“To address misinformation being peddled about Ms. Trump’s personal email,” he went on, in a statement to Fox News, “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.”

Let’s be clear here: Trump’s use of a private email account for official business is wrong. She should make public immediately whatever messages fall under the label of public.

Moreover, no government official, whether White House or county government supervisor, should be allowed to slide past the public’s eye by using private email accounts to conduct public, taxpayer business.

But let’s also be real here: It’s done all the time. All the time, by most all public servants, from all political walks and parties and ideologies. Thinking otherwise is a bit naive. That’s why the Freedom of Information Act is necessary; if public servants were naturally transparent, there would be no need for sunshine protections for citizens.

What’s not always done?

Constructing private email servers in one’s home so as to avoid any accountability and scrutiny at all. Constructing private email servers in one’s home and then deleting scores upon scores of government information, so as to — again — avoid any accountability and scrutiny at all.

When Trump does that, sound the alarms. Until then, yawn, yawn — this so-called scandal is barely a blip.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.


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