Sen. Feinstein: Laws or rules needed to regulate officials' private email use

Officials' private email

In the wake of revelations that several officials in President Trump's administration have used private email accounts to conduct public business, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, called for a set of commonly understood rules – or a piece of legislation – to regulate the use of private email accounts by government personnel.

"This is an area, still, without specific definition, and I think that we need legislation or we need rules that are set down that everybody in the White House, every secretary of state, every senator knows," Feinstein said in an interview with "Face the Nation."

The issue of public officials using private email accounts was thrust into the spotlight during the 2016 campaign, when Republicans criticized the Democratic candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for conducting some official business as secretary of state using a private email account housed on a private server.

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Those attacks boomeranged on Republicans last month, however, when it was revealed that at least six of Mr. Trump's top advisers – including son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka – had been using their own private email accounts to discuss White House matters. The office of the White House counsel is currently investigating the matter.

Feinstein said that she has never received "any instruction on how to use email."

"Our campaign goes on one device, and the Senate device is kept for just Senate matters," the senator explained. "But when I came, until very recently, that wasn't the case. Everything was on one device, and nobody said anything about it."

"I think what is necessary is clear clarification as to what everyone must do," she continued. "There have been other secretaries of state, other than Secretary Clinton, who did everything on personal email and probably in the White House, too. So, what I'm saying is that this is kind of a nonspecific area that needs to be made specific with either a rule or legislation."

For more of our interview with Senator Feinstein, click here.