Thursday, April 12, 2007

White House Cover-Up

It sure sounds like that's what they're doing. From the LA Times:

WASHINGTON — The White House said Wednesday that it may have lost what could amount to thousands of messages sent through a private e-mail system used by political guru Karl Rove and at least 50 other top officials, an admission that stirred anger and dismay among congressional investigators.

The e-mails were considered potentially crucial evidence in congressional inquiries launched by Democrats into the role partisan politics may have played in such policy decisions as the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

The White House said an effort was underway to see whether the messages could be recovered from the computer system, which was operated and paid for by the Republican National Committee as part of an avowed effort to separate political communications from those dealing with official business.

"The White House has not done a good enough job overseeing staff using political e-mail accounts to assure compliance with the Presidential Records Act," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said in an unusual late-afternoon teleconference with reporters.

As a result, Stanzel said, "we may not have preserved all e-mails that deal with White House business."

He refused to estimate how many e-mails may have been lost, but the system was used by dozens of officials for more than six years.

"This is a remarkable admission that raises serious legal and security issues," said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is investigating the role of electoral politics in administration policymaking. "The White House has an obligation to disclose all the information it has."

First members of the White House staff used a private email system paid for by the RNC to circumvent the federal record preservation rules and now they claim the emails were "mishandled" and subsequently "lost"?

Please.

Who's running things over at the RNC - the ghost of Rose Mary Woods?

These lost emails stink to the high heavens of cover-up.

The LA Times piece goes on to say that:

Loss of the e-mail files would create a potential legal problem for the Bush White House: compliance with the Presidential Records Act, which was passed in 1978 in response to the Watergate scandal that enveloped Richard M. Nixon's presidency. The law was designed to ensure that presidential papers were preserved for historical and investigative purposes.

Potential legal problems indeed.

UPDATE:
From the NY Times article on the email matter:

“This sounds like the administration’s version of the dog ate my homework,” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the dismissal of the prosecutors.

“I am deeply disturbed that just when this administration is finally subjected to meaningful oversight,” Mr. Leahy said, “it cannot produce the necessary information.”

Cover-up. That's all I can say - cover-up.

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