Thursday, April 12, 2007

Land of the lost emails

[Updated below]

I've said from the beginning that the attorney purge scandal was just the key that would open the door to reveal the greater corruption in the White House. By all indications, it's looks like I was right as the emails traded over the firings leads us now to an investigation of how the White House systematically violated the Presidential Records Act.

Despite protestions of confusion over protocol issued from White House counselors, Dan Froomkin provides the clues that lead me to conclude it's a rather clear cut case. The rule from the employee handbook couldn't possibly be clearer.
Federal law requires the preservation of electronic communications sent or received by White House staff.

"As a result, personnel working on behalf of the EOP [Executive Office of the President] are expected to only use government-provided e-mail services for all official communication."
What's confusing about that? For the last six years, nearly 50 key GOP operatives who hold White House positions, most notably including Karl Rove and his minions, were clearly conducting government related business of the people on RNC-issued laptops and Blackberries in violation of the law.

Sure, they're playing the Hatch Act card in justifying the use of outside email accounts but the fact of the matter is the emails already provided to Congressional oversight committees relative to the purged attorneys came in with headings from those accounts. How is that not illegal? According to White House counsel Stanzel, "There are no personal violations of the Presidential Records Act, but you can have a personal violation of the Hatch Act."

I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. How are you supposed to enforce a law that no person can violate? It doesn't sound right to me but one thing is clear. For six years the White House has enjoyed an laissez-faire environment of anything goes. No one was going to be held accountable for anything under GOP control of the entire government and they got lazy and careless.

But not careless enough to forget to delete the offending emails. That in and of itself says volumes about culpability to me. You don't delete what you're not trying to hide, yet Justice would have us believe that they are unable to provide a complete record because of confused personnel and inadvertent deletions. As my old friend Harry McColgan would say, "You've got to be shittin' me."

Judiciary Committee chair, Sen. Leahy is understandly outraged. Raw Story has the complete transcript of his remarks., but they can be summed up in one word -- Liars.

Indeed. So why all the delay on issuing subpoenas? Serve the damn things, seize the servers before they destroy them and let's see what the forensics guys can retreive. We've got a democracy to save here. There's no time to waste.

Update: Shocking. Guess whose emails have all disappeared?
According to Mr. Kelner, although the hold started in August 2004, the RNC does not have any e-mails prior to 2005 for Mr. Rove. Mr. Kelner did not give any explanation for the e-mails missing from Mr. Rove's account, but he did acknowledge that one possible explanation is that Mr. Rove personally deleted his e-mails from the RNC server.
Why does that make me think of Chatanooga?

Meanwhile, Glenn Greewald thinks he may be seeing a pattern here.

Libby Spencer

[thanks to Michael van der Galien for the link]

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger I Hate Fraud said...

I have spent my career investigating white-collar fraud. I have restored thousands of crucial deleted emails that enabled convictions. I am certain that whoever oversaw the I.T. responsibilities for the RNC emails maintained system back-ups that would contain the "lost emails"...unless there were some serious deletion efforts.

Has anyone heard anything about the criminal investigation in Richmond VA that was "dropped" despite the fact that the evidence was overwhelming? Although McNulty was not fired to make room for a Bush appointee, he was promoted to Deputy Attorney General creating a vacancy for U S Attorney of the Eastern District of VA. Soon after the changing of the guard, a Bush appointee from Texas killed the largest criminal case in VA's history.

5:50:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

IHF - that's the big unless... It seems rather clear there's a concerted cover-up here.

I know nothing about this investigation in VA. Please do tell me more. Email me if you like. You can get my addy on the side bar of the main page.

6:20:00 PM  
Blogger dave in boca said...

With intemperate imbeciles like Leahy with authority to subpoena, I don’t mind that much of such a loss to history! I think Dick Cheney summed him up well, though Cheney himself is no prize. Takes one to know one!

6:36:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well welcome Dave. Here at the Impolitic we always welcome an opposing view. Having taken a quick peek at your blog, can we safely assume that you're against accountability in government under Republican administrations?

Or are you just against transparency and following the rule of law in government in general?

6:59:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home