Back in March, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said that “only a handful” of White House employees had been conducting official White House business on email accounts owned and operated by the Republican National Committee.
It sounds like a small issue until one realizes its implications. The President is required by the Presidential Records Act to “take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented â€¦ and maintained as Presidential records.” That means that it is against the law for White House officials to conduct business in such a way that purposefully evades the requirement of keeping records of their activities and communications.
Conducting White House business on email accounts owned and operated by the Republican National Committee is a way of purposefully evading the requirements of the Presidential Records Act. It is therefore a grave violation of the law.
When the White House does not follow the Presidential Records Act, the Congress cannot know what the Executive Branch of government is really doing. If Congress does not know what the Executive Branch of government is doing, then it cannot oversee Executive activities, as it its constitutional power and duty.
Keep that in mind when I tell you that Dana Perino lied when she said that only a handful of White House employees were using email accounts from the Republican National Committee to conduct official White House business. Dana Perino later said that 50 White House employees were using Republican Party email accounts, violating the Presidential Records Act. She was lying again. The actual number of White House employees that have been using GOP email accounts to keep their official White House activities undocumented was 88.
That’s 88 White House officials who have been caught violating federal law, and more may be uncovered. What’s more, the national Republican Party was involved in helping them break the law. This politically-motivated Republican effort to help White House officials break that law brings into doubt any presidential candidate who runs under the label of Republican.
(Source: House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, June 18, 2007)