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Dual E-mail = Double Trouble for White House?

Posted Apr 9, 2007 8:49 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Having seen the Clinton administration embarrassed by political e-mails sent on the White House computer system, officials in the Bush administration thought they had a better idea.

After President Bush took office, the Republican party paid for private laptop computers with a separate e-mail system for White House officials to use when communicating about nongovernmental matters. Meanwhile, government business would still be done on government-issued computers.

But the dual e-mail system apparently hasn’t worked out quite as planned, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Democrats contend White House officials have been using GOP e-mail for government business, in what amounts to an end run around federal law requiring preservation and eventual disclosure of presidential records, the newspaper says. Congressional aides are expected to demand access to these e-mails in connection with last year’s firing of eight U.S. attorneys, among other ongoing controversies.

Republicans, on their side, reportedly are concerned that political messages written with an expectation of privacy could now become public, as part of any mass release of GOP e-mails.

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