Posted Jun 19, 2007 03:00 am CDT
Far more e-mail than originally thought was sent and received by White House officials on Republican National Committee accounts, and records of many of those e-mails are missing.
And that suggests there may have been “extensive” violations of federal open records law by the Bush administration, says the Democratic chair of the House Oversight Committee. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., plans to broaden an ongoing investigation of political e-mail accounts, according to the Washington Post.
Although the White House earlier said that 50 RNC accounts were in use, the House Oversight Committee reported today that it has found more than 80, the Post writes. The RNC accounts were supposed to be used for political purposes, not government business, because federal law requires records to be kept of official e-mail. Hence, these officials had separate White House e-mail systems for government business.
“Given the heavy reliance by White House officials on RNC e-mail accounts, the high rank of the White House officials involved, and the large quantity of missing e-mails, the potential violation of the Presidential Records Act may be extensive,” states the committee report.
Republicans say there is no proof the missing e-mail was about government business, or that federal open records law was violated. Among other issues, the e-mail records are considered important to the ongoing investigation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ role in the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys, allegedly for political reasons.