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Bush White House Destroyed Illegal Email Accounts

It’s bad enough that the Bush White House systematically worked with the Republican National Committee to set up RNC email accounts for at least 88 White House officials to use in order to avoid keeping official records of their activities that could be reviewed by Congress. That’s a violation of the Presidential Records Act. White House officials are required by law to use White House email for official business, and to preserve the emails as official records.

What’s worse is that the Presidential Records Act was broken yet again when the Republican National Committee deleted all the emails written by 51 out of the 88 known White House officials using Republican National Committee email accounts. Those email accounts have been subpoenaed by Congress in order to investigate the activities of the White House, but the congressional investigation has been stifled by the deleted accounts.

Furthermore, in the Republican Party email accounts that were preserved, there are what the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform calls “major gaps” in which emails over long periods of time have been deleted.

The Republican National Committee says that its deletion of huge numbers of official White House records is all just a big mistake. It’s a mistake akin to the one made by President Richard Nixon when he deleted portions of the White House tapes recordings made in the Oval Office.

The Bush White House’s supposed mistake ought to be dealt with in the same way that Richard Nixon’s mistaken deletion was dealt with. The trust of the American people is broken when the Bush White House and the Republican Party engage in such a thorough effort to hide and destroy public documents that record the activities of their government.

(Source: House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, June 18, 2007)

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