Daily Revolt

January 08, 2008

Missing White House e-mails Probed

Now wonder this guy is out of the country:
A federal magistrate ordered the White House on Tuesday to reveal whether copies of possibly millions of missing e-mails are stored on computer backup tapes.

The order by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola comes amid an effort by the White House to scuttle two lawsuits that could force the Executive Office of the President to recover any e-mail that has disappeared from computer servers where electronic documents are automatically archived.

Two federal laws require the White House to preserve all records including e-mail.

Facciola gave the White House five business days to report whether computer backup tapes contain e-mails written between 2003 and 2005.

The time period covers the Valerie Plame affair in which at least three presidential aides were found to have leaked Plame's CIA identity to the news media.

[...]In their lawsuits, the National Security Archive and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington suggest the e-mails were improperly deleted from White House computer servers. Over 5 million White House e-mails are missing, CREW alleged. Recently, the group said it has been told by reliable sources that the actual figure of missing e-mail is over 10 million.

Facciola's court order "is going to force the White House to actually explain something about the situation and what they've done about the missing e-mails," said Meredith Fuchs, general counsel at the National Security Archive.

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