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White House aides' e-mail records gone (for 51 of the 88 White House officials - 8-o)
AP on Yahoo ^ | 6/18/07 | Charles Babington - ap

Posted on 06/18/2007 12:47:19 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

WASHINGTON - E-mail records are missing for 51 of the 88 White House officials who had electronic message accounts with the Republican National Committee, the House Oversight Committee said Monday.

The Bush administration may have committed "extensive" violations of a law requiring that certain records be preserved, said the committee's Democratic chairman, adding that the panel will deepen its probe into the use of political e-mail accounts.

The committee's interim report said the number of White House officials who had RNC e-mail accounts, and the number of messages they sent and received, were more extensive than previously realized.

The administration has said that about 50 White House officials had RNC e-mail accounts during Bush's presidency. But the House committee found at least 88.

The RNC has preserved e-mails from some of the heaviest users, including 140,216 messages sent or received by Bush's top political adviser in the White House, Karl Rove. However, "the RNC has preserved no e-mails for 51 officials," said the interim report, issued by committee chairman Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif.

The 51 include Ken Mehlman, a former White House political director who reportedly used his RNC account frequently, the report said.

"Given the heavy reliance by White House officials on RNC e-mail accounts, the high rank of the White House officials involved, and the large quantity of missing e-mails," the report said, "the potential violation of the Presidential Records Act may be extensive."

The records act requires presidents to assure that "the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance" of their duties are "adequately documented ... and maintained," the report said.

White House press secretary Tony Snow told reporters he would not "respond specifically" to the committee's findings but said the RNC e-mail accounts "were designed precisely to avoid Hatch Act violations that prohibit the use of government assets for certain political activities." He added, "the RNC has had an e-mail preservation policy for White House staffers."

Congressional Democrats are investigating whether White House officials used RNC e-mail accounts to conduct overtly political, and perhaps improper, activities such as planning which U.S. prosecutors to fire and preparing partisan briefings for employees in federal agencies.

Waxman's committee is contacting numerous federal agencies to determine whether their records "contain some of the White House e-mails that have been destroyed by the RNC," the report said.

In a statement, Waxman called the panel's findings "should be a matter of grave concern for anyone who values open government." He said the committee will investigate "who knew about the violations of the Presidential Records Act, why they did not act earlier, and what e-mails can be salvaged from RNC, White House, and agency computer systems."

The report especially criticized Alberto Gonzales, now the attorney general, for actions when he headed the White House Counsel's office. There is evidence that under Gonzales the office "may have known that White House officials were using RNC e-mail accounts for official business, but took no action to preserve these presidential records," the report said.

Snow said of the claim: "That's an allegation. We'll respond to it in due course."

The report said the House committee may need to issue subpoenas "to obtain the cooperation of the Bush Cheney '04 campaign." It said the campaign acknowledges providing e-mail accounts "to 11 White House officials, but the campaign has unjustifiably refused to provide the committee with basic information about these accounts, such as the identity of the White House officials and the number of e-mails that have been preserved."

The House committee report said Rove's RNC e-mail account carried 75,374 messages to or from people with government, or .gov, accounts. It said the RNC has preserved 66,018 e-mails sent to or from former White House political affairs director Sara Taylor, and 35,198 sent to or from deputy director Scott Jennings.

"These e-mail accounts were used by White House officials for official purposes, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments and policies," the report said.

It said the White House counsel in early 2001 "issued clear written policies" instructing staffers "to use only the official White House e-mail system for official communications and to retain any official e-mails they received on a nongovernmental account." Recent evidence "indicates that White House officials used their RNC e-mail accounts in a manner that circumvented these requirements," the report said.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: aides; email; govwatch; records; whitehouse
An WH email gap exists.

so what else is new? :-}

1 posted on 06/18/2007 12:47:25 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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The report: http://www.oversight.house.gov/


2 posted on 06/18/2007 12:47:46 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... For want of a few good men, a once great nation was lost.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Check their socks. If there, no problem, just sloppy recordkeeping!! :)


3 posted on 06/18/2007 12:50:36 PM PDT by texas_mrs
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To: NormsRevenge

I wonder how many Democrat members of the senate and house have DNC e-mail accounts? Oh, that doesn’t matter...


4 posted on 06/18/2007 12:50:57 PM PDT by Russ
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To: All

Is there a story here? Maybe I missed it.


5 posted on 06/18/2007 12:51:37 PM PDT by WBL 1952
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To: NormsRevenge
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Where was Batboy's concern for e-mail integrity during the Clintoons' Project X scandal?

6 posted on 06/18/2007 12:51:45 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Russ

“I wonder how many Democrat members of the senate and house have DNC e-mail accounts? Oh, that doesn’t matter...”

Is there a law similar to the Presidential Records Act that applies to congress?


7 posted on 06/18/2007 12:52:08 PM PDT by DemEater
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To: NormsRevenge

OMG, this could be hugh.


8 posted on 06/18/2007 12:53:16 PM PDT by Chuck54 (Tagline: (optional, printed after your name on post):)
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To: NormsRevenge

I would LOVE to know how they managed to destroy numerous emails on numerous computers without throwing the hard drives thereon into the Potomac. But since this report comes from Waxman, I am not sure they did.


9 posted on 06/18/2007 12:53:18 PM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: Chuck54

..and series.


10 posted on 06/18/2007 12:53:39 PM PDT by Chuck54 (Tagline: (optional, printed after your name on post):)
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To: NormsRevenge

And of course we can account for every email ever written in the Clinton White House. Heck, they even stole the computers.


11 posted on 06/18/2007 12:53:56 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: Cementjungle

.....you can bet they didn’t use the letter “W” too.


12 posted on 06/18/2007 12:55:23 PM PDT by Chuck54 (Tagline: (optional, printed after your name on post):)
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To: NormsRevenge
"No! That was not me coming out of Barny Frank s basement apartment. "


13 posted on 06/18/2007 12:55:38 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: NormsRevenge

Oh No! Another Watergate missing tape scandal! This will feed the press for the next 8 years.


14 posted on 06/18/2007 12:56:12 PM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: NormsRevenge
"The RNC has preserved e-mails from some of the heaviest users, including 140,216 messages sent or received by Bush's top political adviser in the White House, Karl Rove."

I wonder how many of those were Nigerian bank scams and Penis enlargement spam ads?

15 posted on 06/18/2007 12:56:54 PM PDT by joebuck
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To: martin_fierro

LOL! THAT is just AWESOME! (Did you do that yourself???)

16 posted on 06/18/2007 1:08:28 PM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: TexasCajun
An entirely new definition of "rat-faced"....

Wow. An existing species of Demonratus Rodentius.

17 posted on 06/18/2007 1:10:04 PM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: WBL 1952
The documents in the attorney firing “scandal” show that some of the correspondence regarding the firing of the U.S. Attorneys (by definition, government business) was done using these RNC email accounts.

The use of RNC email accounts to conduct government business poses two potential problems for the Bush administration:

Firstly, such communications will not fall under executive privilege because the use of (potentially insecure) private or RNC email accounts indicates that the correspondents were not treating the business as privileged communications.

Secondly, to the extent that these email accounts were being used to conduct government business, the deletion of any emails to or from these accounts would be a violation of the Presidential Records Act.

18 posted on 06/18/2007 1:17:53 PM PDT by BGHater
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To: Cementjungle

This is what happened in the Clinton years:

Hall said Northrop Grumman e-mail expert Robert Haas told her and another witness in a late June 1998 meeting in her office that he stored the files on a zip disk. He told Congress another story, she says, to save his White House job.

Haas, while “pacing” in her office, told her and White House computer specialist Sharon Mitchell that he “feared for his life” and wanted to show a friend what he’d found while searching the trove of missing e-mail, Hall said.

He said he’d stumbled onto e-mails tied to Chinagate, Filegate and other White House scandals, Hall recounted.

Haas said the “results (of investigations) would be different and other people would go to jail” if investigators had the e-mails, she said.

Though he has denied being afraid for his life, Haas has accused two White House officials of threatening him with jail if he didn’t keep Project X secret.


19 posted on 06/18/2007 1:19:55 PM PDT by NoBullZone
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To: NormsRevenge

The reason that this is an issue is because the WH and the RNC allowed it to become one like they have some of these other scandels. IF our side would for once play ball with these clowns and turnover stuff about DNC or Democrats and their “illegal” contacts, etc., Then maybe, just maybe Waxman would go back to his room.


20 posted on 06/18/2007 1:31:46 PM PDT by The South Texan (The Drive By Media is America's worst enemy and American people don't know it.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I wonder if Rep. Waxman would let me have access to his emails and staff memos?


21 posted on 06/18/2007 1:35:24 PM PDT by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: NormsRevenge

Things in the WH that mysteriously get deleted:

WH aides’ emails

18 1/2 minutes of tape

Vince Foster


22 posted on 06/18/2007 1:45:02 PM PDT by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: NormsRevenge

What are they hinding???? Is it an amnesty coverup????? Amnestygate anyone?????


23 posted on 06/18/2007 1:46:26 PM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: NormsRevenge

While they’re at it, how about looking at all the Democrat emails, too, just in case.


24 posted on 06/18/2007 1:51:24 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: NormsRevenge

Big deal! A few months ago all my emails disappeared from my “Sent” file. Where they went I have no clue.


25 posted on 06/18/2007 1:53:04 PM PDT by pepperdog
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To: NormsRevenge

has sandy burger been sighted around lately?


26 posted on 06/18/2007 2:00:48 PM PDT by Joe Boucher
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To: NormsRevenge

Huh, a Democrat stole it and they blame it on Republicans.


27 posted on 06/18/2007 2:56:44 PM PDT by struggle ((The struggle continues))
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To: Chuck54
.....you can bet they didn’t use the letter “W” too.

Wasn't that the excuse for the missing Gore email backups, that the servers were named with upper-case W's but the backups were looking for lower-case w's?

Of course, that was just in innocent oversight, while this is evidence of a massive cover-up.

-PJ

28 posted on 06/18/2007 3:01:47 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Isn’t it odd, how the dimwits are still trying to blame the Repubs when they up to their necks in do do.


29 posted on 06/18/2007 3:59:48 PM PDT by freekitty
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To: Russ
"I wonder how many Democrat members of the senate and house have DNC e-mail accounts? Oh, that doesn’t matter..."

No it doesn't matter. I will not condone illegal or unethical behavior just because "everyone else does it". Since when are we content to accept the Dem's doctrine of relative filth which says anything is OK as long as someone else, somewhere, has done worse?

30 posted on 06/18/2007 4:07:10 PM PDT by Natural Law
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To: NormsRevenge
If I had been part of the administration, I would have deleted the email accounts whether they had anything to do with anything at all.

Just to see all the liberals go completely over the edge.


31 posted on 06/18/2007 4:26:37 PM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: Chuck54

I’m stuned!!


32 posted on 06/18/2007 5:54:04 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (If your representative will not vote for Term Limits, vote for the candidate who will.)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

:)

Me too!


33 posted on 06/18/2007 6:33:26 PM PDT by Chuck54 (Tagline: (optional, printed after your name on post):)
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To: NormsRevenge
Oh, darn those rascally computers.

Hey, White House: get used to this. These jerkoff Democrats are barely getting started...they don't want to govern, they want to harass.

34 posted on 06/18/2007 6:37:33 PM PDT by Recovering_Democrat (I am SO glad to no longer be associated with the party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: NormsRevenge

All the Lefties are going berserk over this.


35 posted on 06/18/2007 8:27:49 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: NormsRevenge

Why oh why oh why does this administration keep handing live ammunition to the Democrats?


36 posted on 06/18/2007 9:25:05 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: 3AngelaD
I would LOVE to know how they managed to destroy numerous emails on numerous computers

Simple. Until someone brought it to their attention, the RNC didn't have a "keep it forever" mail retention policy. Some messages expired and were thus deleted.

The White House email system, the one they're supposed to use to ensure compliance with the law, never deletes, or allows a user to delete, anything.

37 posted on 06/18/2007 9:27:41 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: DemEater

Hope the president tells them to shove it.


38 posted on 06/18/2007 9:29:26 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Our God-given unalienable rights are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: Political Junkie Too
that the servers were named with upper-case W's but the backups were looking for lower-case w's?

Of course if they're running Windows, which most of the government does, it wouldn't make any difference. Windows recognizes case, but it is not case-sensitive, "Whitewater" equals "whitewater."

39 posted on 06/18/2007 9:30:59 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: joebuck

Oh, THEY get those too?


40 posted on 06/18/2007 9:42:54 PM PDT by Marysecretary (GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL.)
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To: antiRepublicrat
You have to also remember that Paul Sperry, in the early days of WordNetDaily, also reported that the Clinton White House intentionally downgraded the West Wing phone PBX switches to a less sophisticated model. The installed version was able to track all phone calls to the extension, but the replaced version was only able to tell which switch the call was made from.

New cover-up: 'Project PBX' -- White House changed phone software to disguise long-distance caller traffic

I wonder why?

-PJ

41 posted on 06/18/2007 9:43:16 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
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To: NormsRevenge
The 51 include Ken Mehlman, a former White House political director who reportedly used his RNC account frequently, the report said.

Gee, now I wonder why they'd expunge ol' Kenny's emails. Probably too many funny FWDs to Mark Foley...
42 posted on 06/18/2007 9:51:30 PM PDT by Antoninus (P!ss off an environmentalist wacko . . . have more kids.)
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To: antiRepublicrat

Even if they are deleted, they are still SOMEWHERE on the hard drive, as many a crook has learned to his dismay. Also, the Geek Squad charges fairly steep fees for “erasing” stuff from hard drives before used computers are sold or donated.


43 posted on 06/19/2007 5:19:44 AM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: 3AngelaD
Even if they are deleted, they are still SOMEWHERE on the hard drive, as many a crook has learned to his dismay.

The basic answer is "it depends." Servers usually use arrays, which are more difficult to recover since you're searching for bits across disks. Depending on the usage, the data could have been overwritten several times already. In the end it depends on the specific case and how much time and money you're willing to spend recovering the data, and it can be a LOT, especially if you have to go the electron microscope route. There is academic research in this area to determine the wiping patterns that can best disrupt the magnetic fields, so it's getting harder.

Also, the Geek Squad charges fairly steep fees for “erasing” stuff from hard drives before used computers are sold or donated.

Funny, all they do is let a program run on your hard drive overnight. Even that isn't perfect though, although like above the time and money it would take to recover the data is insane.

May I suggest a free tool to do it yourself and save money, http://sourceforge.net/projects/eraser/. If you can make a boot floppy, wipe the whole thing with this http://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/.

44 posted on 06/19/2007 6:05:49 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

Yes, I was thinking they might have been overwritten, but those guys have top of the line computers with huge hard drives. I am not a tech person, but I do know that I never email anything I would be ashamed to see on the front page of the Wash Post with my name on it.


45 posted on 06/19/2007 6:36:05 AM PDT by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: NormsRevenge
The RNC has preserved e-mails from some of the heaviest users, including 140,216 messages sent or received by Bush's top political adviser in the White House, Karl Rove.

How many of them were Viagra ads?

46 posted on 06/19/2007 6:39:41 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (Without the fence, deporting illegals is like shoveling water.)
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To: Fresh Wind
The RNC has preserved e-mails from some of the heaviest users, including 140,216 messages sent or received by Bush's top political adviser in the White House, Karl Rove.
How many of them were Viagra ads?

He said Karl Rove, not Bob Dole.

47 posted on 06/19/2007 7:05:45 AM PDT by steve-b (It's hard to be religious when certain people don't get struck by lightning.)
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