White House E-Mail Messages May Be Lost

The White House says it may have lost what could be thousands of official messages from a private e-mail system, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The White House is attempting to recover e-mail from the system set up for campaign purposes, used by at least 50 top government officials and operated by the Republican National Committee, the newspaper reports.

The flap stems from a congressional request for documents relevant to its investigation of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. E-mail records provided showed that some of the discussions were taking place on the RNC e-mail rather than the government system.

The New York Times says government officials admit the RNC e-mail accounts may have been improperly used for government rather than political business. The 1978 Presidential Records Act requires the government to preserve records of decisions and deliberations.

“This sounds like the administration’s version of the dog ate my homework,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., told the New York Times. Leahy is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the firing of the U.S. attorneys.

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