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June 18, 2007

Thousands of Rove's Emails Were Deliberately Destroyed

Each day brings a new revelation about the crimes of the Bush White House. Today's is a doozy:

House investigators have learned that the Bush administration’s use of Republican National Committee email accounts is far greater than previously disclosed — 140,216 emails sent or received by Karl Rove alone — and that the RNC has overseen “extensive destruction” of many of the emails, including all email records for 51 White House officials.

For the last several months, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been “investigating whether White House officials violated the Presidential Records Act” by using email accounts maintained by the RNC and the Bush-Cheney ‘04 campaign for official White House communications. Today’s findings confirm that the accounts were used “for official purposes, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments and policies.”

The report also includes the following:

1) While the RNC destroyed the emails, many other federal agencies preserved them

2) White House spokesperson Dana Perino lied about the number of officials who used the email accounts -- she says it was 50, the committee says it was 88

3) Henry Waxman, the committee chairman, is going to "issue compulsory process" to force the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign to cooperate with the investigation.

The saying goes "the cover-up is always worse than the crime", but in this case it looks like both the crime and the cover-up are reprehensible. Waxman isn't known for being a pit-bull for nothing. I expect he will keep the White House locked firmly between his fangs until he shakes loose the information he -- and the nation -- wants. Delightfully, the committee saved the best for last:

– Gonzales may have known about RNC account use. According to a deposition from Rove’s former assistant Susan Ralston, in 2001, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales “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 committee calls for an investigation into Gonzales’ actions on this matter.

Is it impeachment yet?

Posted by shoephone on June 18, 2007 at 11:45 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink

Comments

Yeah, I think this has potential to be very, very bad for the WH, and I would bet they are in a panic worrying about the likelihood that the e-mails are retrievable from the recipients' end of the exchange.

And, once again, there's Gonzales in it, this time as WH counsel - do you think he will have any memory of being aware of recalling if he remembered he knew anything about the preservation issue?

I also think there will be no good explanation for why some of the e-mails from the 88 individuals involved have been destroyed, and some have not, and why there are strange gaps in what is available.

I'm encouraged to see that the committee staff is thinking on its feet, determined to get at the information and not give up every time the WH throws a roadblock up.

Posted by: Anne | Jun 18, 2007 1:02:25 PM

"I also think there will be no good explanation for why some of the e-mails from the 88 individuals involved have been destroyed, and some have not, and why there are strange gaps in what is available."

I think you've gotten to the the crux of it, Anne.

Posted by: shoephone | Jun 18, 2007 4:50:20 PM

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