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Wed Sep 9, 2015, 07:56 PM

the Untold Story of the Bush WH emails - 22 million "lost" then "found"

http://www.citizensforethics.org/pages/untold-story-of-the-bush-white-house-emails

Just how far did the Bush White House go to hide its actions from the American people? A new report released today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), "The Untold Story of the Bush White House Emails," attempts to answer the question by providing a wealth of details regarding the Bush White House's failure to prevent millions of emails from vanishing forever.

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◾ Missing emails included emails from the Office of the Vice President for a critical period in the fall of 2003 that were sought by the Department of Justice as part of its investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert CIA identity. Files that should have contained these emails also were missing from backup tapes for that period and in its efforts to restore those emails from individual users' mailboxes, the Bush White House excluded the mailbox of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby from those being restored.

◾ Years before its discovery in October 2005 that millions of emails were missing from White House servers, the Bush White House received multiple warnings from multiple sources, including the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), that emails were at risk of destruction.

◾ After spending millions of dollars and years of effort creating an effective electronic record keeping system called the Electronic Communications Records Management System (ECRMS), the Bush White House abandoned ECRMS on the eve of its deployment offering explanations that NARA, among others, did not find reasonable.


"Sadly, the American people will never know the full truth of just what went on inside the Bush White House as decisions affecting all of our lives were made," said Ms. Sloan. "Despite repeated warnings that information was being lost, Bush administration officials repeatedly and willfully turned a blind eye to the problem."


full report

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from the executive summary of full report:

note:
Message Storage Team(MST)
Electronic Communications RecordsManagement System (ECRMS)
National Archives and RecordsAdministration (NARA)


• While the MST was charged with determining the scope of the missing email problem, it was never instructed to investigate why the emails went missing.

• After initially meeting with NARA officials on the design of ECRMS, the BushWhite House ceased all meetings and failed to advise NARA about problems with ECRMS the White House supposedly was encountering or to give NARA advance notice of its decision to abandon ECRMS altogether.

• The Bush White House also rebuffed NARA’s repeated attempts to meet withWhite House officials to prepare for a presidential transition.

• The Bush White House failed to inform NARA about the missing emails or shareinformation with NARA until well after CREW released its report and CREW and the National Security Archive sued both the Executive Office of the President and NARA.
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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 08:14 PM

1. I told them to look for them on the coffee table.

 



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Response to Wilms (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 06:54 PM

9. AT LEAST 88 WH officials had & used Rep Natnl Com email addresses 4 official Gov business

[font size="+1"]THe reason you don't know about this is the GOP's Corporate media didn't give it 1/1000th the attention they are giving the HRC email "scandal"[/font]

House Report Shows (Bush) White House Officials Sent Thousands of Official Emails Using Outside Accounts
[font size="+1"]AT LEAST 88 White House officials had and used Republican National Committee email addresses for official government business, though most emails were not stored as required by law despite evidence indicating that White House lawyers, including the current Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, knew of this usage.[/font]

The number of White House officials given RNC e-mail accounts is higher than previously disclosed. In March 2007, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said that only a “handful of officials” had RNC e-mail accounts. In later statements, her estimate rose to “50 over the course of the administration.” In fact, the Committee has learned from the RNC that at least 88 White House officials had RNC e-mail accounts. The officials with RNC e-mail accounts include Karl Rove, the President’s senior advisor; Andrew Card, the former White House Chief of Staff; Ken Mehlman, the former White House Director of Political Affairs; and many other officials in the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Communications, and the Office of the Vice President.

White House officials made extensive use of their RNC e-mail accounts. The RNC has preserved 140,216 e-mails sent or received by Karl Rove. Over half of these e-mails (75,374) were sent to or received from individuals using official “.gov” e-mail accounts. Other heavy users of RNC e-mail accounts include former White House Director of Political Affairs Sara Taylor (66,018 e-mails) and Deputy Director of Political Affairs Scott Jennings (35,198 e-mails). These e-mail accounts were used by White House officials for official purposes, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments and policies.

There has been extensive destruction of the e-mails of White House officials by the RNC. Of the 88 White House officials who received RNC e-mail accounts, the RNC has preserved no e-mails for 51 officials. In a deposition, Susan Ralston, Mr. Rove’s former executive assistant, testified that many of the White House officials for whom the RNC has no e-mail records were regular users of their RNC e-mail accounts. Although the RNC has preserved no e-mail records for Ken Mehlman, the former Director of Political Affairs, Ms. Ralston testified that Mr. Mehlman used his account “frequently, daily.” In addition, there are major gaps in the e-mail records of the 37 White House officials for whom the RNC did preserve e-mails. The RNC has preserved only 130 e-mails sent to Mr. Rove during President Bush’s first term and no e-mails sent by Mr. Rove prior to November 2003. For many other White House officials, the RNC has no e-mails from before the fall of 2006.
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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 08:26 PM

2. And Dick claimed his emails at his Capital Hill office weren't covered by any of this

THEN there was the server fire

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 01:36 AM

3. Then there were the RNC servers...

 

Mike Duncan
Chairman
Republican National Committee
3 10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

March 26, 2007

Two congressional investigations - one by the Oversight Committee and one by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees - have uncovered evidence that White House staff have used nongovernmental e-mail accounts to conduct official government business. Such emails written in the conduct of White House business would appear to be governmental records subject to preservation and eventual public disclosure.

The Presidential Records Act of 1978 establishes that the records of a president, his immediate staff, and certain units of the Executive Office of the President belong to the United States, not to the individual president or his staff. The Act further states that the president must "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 and that such records are maintained as Presidential records pursuant to the requirements of this section and other provisions of law."

Evidence of the use of nongovernmental e-mail accounts has also emerged in the investigation of the firing of U.S. Attorneys being conducted by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. As part of this investigation, the Department of Justice has released thousands of pages of documents regarding the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys in 2006. Among the documents released by the Justice Department is an e-mail exchange between J. Scott Jennings, the Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs in the White House, and Kyle Sampson, the Chief of Staff of the Justice Department, that discussed how to replace Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cumins with Tim Griffin in a way that "would alleviate pressure/implication that Tim forced Bud out."7 In this e-mail exchange, as well as other exchanges, Mr. Jennings used a "gwb43.com" e-mail account maintained by the Republican National committee.8

A recent article in National Journal suggests that the use of nongovernmental e-mails by some high-ranking White House officials may be a common practice. According to this account, one former White House official said that Karl Rove uses his RNC account for "about 95 percent" of his e-mail.9 The National Journal account also raised questions about the preservation of these records. The article reports that the same former official said that the RNC has a policy of purging all e-mails after a short period of time, though it has chosen to preserve Mr. Rove's e-mails."

Sincerely,
Henry A. Waxman
Chairman


Mike Duncan
Chairman
Republican National Committee
3 10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

April 18, 2007

To date, the Committee has received none of the information referenced above. Although staff met with RNC counsel and has communicated with RNC counsel by phone and email, the RNC still has not identified the "roughly 50" White House officials who held RNC accounts. And despite several requests, the RNC has not provided any details about the number of RNC e-mails sent or received by White House officials. This is elementary information that should already have been provided to the Committee.

Instead of providing this information, the RNC counsel has proposed to limit the Committee's request by using narrow "search terms" to identify e-mails relevant to the Committee's investigation. On Monday, RNC counsel proposed eight search terms, such as "political briefing," "Hatch Act," and "2008." While the "search term" approach was offered in good faith by the RNC counsel, it presents some serious problems. For example, the search terms proposed by the RNC would not have located a January 19,2007, e-mail from an official in Karl Rove's office to an official at the General Services Administration transmitting a copy of Powerpoint slides prepared by the White House that list the top 20 Democratic targets in 2008. That e-mail read: "Please do not email this out or let people see it. It is a close hold and we're not supposed to be emailing it around."'

Using search terms to limit the number of documents to be produced risks overlooking potentially responsive documents. The volume of e-mails involved may make resort to search terms necessary. But before the Committee can assess whether a search-term approach is required in this case - and whether it is required for every White House official or only some of them - the Committee needs basic facts about the scope and nature of the e-mails preserved on RNC servers. The Committee staff reasonably requested a meeting tomorrow to discuss these issues, but this request was unreasonably rejected. In fact, the RNC counsel stated that no meeting would occur until the Committee agreed to limiting search terms. This is not an acceptable proposal.

Sincerely,
Henry A. Waxman
Chairman


UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM
MAJORITY STAFF
JUNE 2007

Interim Report
INVESTIGATION OF POSSIBLE PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS ACT VIOLATIONS

PREPARED FOR
CHAIRMAN HENRY A. WAXMAN

The Oversight Committee has been investigating whether White House officials violated the Presidential Records Act by using e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee and the Bush Cheney ‘04 campaign for official White House communications. This interim staff report provides a summary of the evidence the Committee has received to date, along with recommendations for next steps in the investigation.
The information the Committee has received in the investigation reveals:

• The number of White House officials given RNC e-mail accounts is higher than previously disclosed. In March 2007, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said that only a “handful of officials” had RNC e-mail accounts. In later statements, her estimate rose to “50 over the course of the administration.” In fact, the Committee has learned from the RNC that at least 88 White House officials had RNC e-mail accounts. The officials with RNC e-mail accounts include Karl Rove, the President’s senior advisor; Andrew Card, the former White House Chief of Staff; Ken Mehlman, the former White House Director of Political Affairs; and many other officials in the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Communications, and the Office of the Vice President.

• White House officials made extensive use of their RNC e-mail accounts. The RNC has preserved 140,216 e-mails sent or received by Karl Rove. Over half of these e-mails (75,374) were sent to or received from individuals using official “.gov” e-mail accounts. Other heavy users of RNC e-mail accounts include former White House Director of Political Affairs Sara Taylor (66,018 e-mails) and Deputy Director of Political Affairs Scott Jennings (35,198 e-mails). These e-mail accounts were used by White House officials for official purposes, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments and policies.

• There has been extensive destruction of the e-mails of White House officials by the RNC. Of the 88 White House officials who received RNC e-mail accounts, the RNC has preserved no e-mails for 51 officials. In a deposition, Susan Ralston, Mr. Rove’s former executive assistant, testified that many of the White House officials for whom the RNC has no e-mail records were regular users of their RNC e-mail accounts. Although the RNC has preserved no e-mail records for Ken Mehlman, the former Director of Political Affairs, Ms. Ralston testified that Mr. Mehlman used his account “frequently, daily.” In addition, there are major gaps in the e-mail records of the 37 White House officials for whom the RNC did preserve e-mails. The RNC has preserved only 130 e-mails sent to Mr. Rove during President Bush’s first term and no e-mails sent by Mr. Rove prior to November 2003. For many other White House officials, the RNC has no e-mails from before the fall of 2006.

There is evidence that the Office of White House Counsel under Alberto Gonzales may have known that White House officials were using RNC e-mail accounts for official business, but took no action to preserve these presidential records. In her deposition, Ms. Ralston testified that she searched Mr. Rove’s RNC e-mail account in response to an Enron-related investigation in 2001 and the investigation of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald later in the Administration. According to Ms. Ralston, the White House Counsel’s office knew about these e-mails because “all of the documents we collected were then turned over to the White House Counsel’s office.” There is no evidence, however, that White House Counsel Gonzales initiated any action to ensure the preservation of the e-mail records that were destroyed by the RNC.


MEMORANDUM
February 26, 2008
Members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Democratic Committee Staff
Supplemental Information for Full Committee Hearing on White House E-mails

The process of recovering missing e-mails from RNC servers and White House back-up tapes has not begun. Beginning in April 2007, the Archives urged the White House to start recovering missing White House e-mails stored on back-up tapes maintained by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the White House. In his May 1, 2007, letter, the Archivist advised Mr. Fielding that such a 'restoration' project can easily take more than one year to complete." Despite repeated requests from the Archives, these efforts have not yet begun. Moreover, the RNC has informed the Committee that it has no intention of trying to restore missing White House e-mails.

At this point, the full extent of the missing White House e-mails cannot be determined. There appear to be two main sources of missing e-mails. First, over 80 White House officials, including many of the most senior officials in the White House, regularly used RNC e-mail accounts. The RNC, however, has preserved no e-mails for over 50 of these officials and has saved few e-mails for the other officials from before fall 2006.

Second, an analysis of the White House e-mail system in 2005 identified over 700 days in which a component of the Executive Office of the President had an unusually low number of emails preserved on White House servers, including 473 days in which a component had no preserved e-mails. According to the analysis, there are 12 days of no e-mails for the President's immediate office and 16 days of no e-mails for the Vice President's office. The 2005 analysis was prepared by a team of 15 White House officials and contractor personnel supervised by Mr. McDevitt.

The White House is now disputing the accuracy of the 2005 analysis. In briefings with Committee staff, the White House has asserted that it has located at least some e-mails for each of the no-e-mail days for the White House Office as well as for five of the 16 no-e-mail days for the Office of the Vice President. The White House, however, has refused to share many other details with the Committee. At a meeting with the White House in October 2007, the Archives expressed doubts about the reliability of the new analysis being prepared by the White House.

According to the notes of this meeting:

We expressed great concern that the process was moving so slowly, and that we were very skeptical that the report results from the new tool could completely eliminate the possibility of messages missing from the collections system. We pointed out that some type of restoration project would inevitably be necessary if significant doubt remained that messages had not been collected, and that they should begin planning for such a project by requesting funding for the current FY.

The difficulties the White House encountered in recovering e-mails for Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald also undermine its claim that the journaling system was adequate. According to documents provided and shown to the Committee, the journaling archive system contained no e-mails from the Office of the Vice President for important dates: September 30, 2003, to October 6, 2003. In an effort to recover the e-mails, the White House restored backup tapes for these days. These backup tapes also contained no journaled e-mails or .pst files for those dates for the Office of the Vice President. The only e-mails that could be recovered and provided to the Special Counsel were e-mails that the White House was able to restore from the personal email accounts of officials in the Vice President's office.

The Committee's investigation into the extent of the missing White House e-mails has been complicated by a lack of cooperation from the White House. The Committee requested documents from the White House on December 20,2007. Since that time, the White House has produced only a small number of documents, including no documents from either of the White House hearing witnesses, Theresa Payton, Chief Information Officer, and Alan Swendiman, Director of the Office of Administration. The White House also has withheld an unknown number of documents without any claim of executive privilege. In addition, the White House directed the National Archives to withhold various documents relating to White House actions, for which the Committee issued a subpoena.


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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 06:06 PM

8. thank you for this - Great stuff!!



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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 02:10 AM

4. I always love the Democratic defense

 

that boils down to "Bush did it too."

We Democrats spend so much time talking about how bad Republicans are and how much better we are than those awful Republicans, and then when one of us is caught with a hand in the cookie jar we promptly say, "Well, Bush did it too."

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 06:02 PM

7. your Repugnant Cheney administration WH advisors used private email account on unsecure servers


[font color="red"]
under Republican National Committee control [/font]AND sought to frustrate investigations of the 'lost' emails on said unsecure servers AT THAT TIME.
Was Darth Vader concerned that it would be found that classified information was in those emails controlled by the RNC? NOW you are claiming HRC is guilty of something - without any evidence having been presented.

[font size="+1"]I don't need to make any apologies for pointing out the astounding hypocrisy and cynicism of the Repugnant Party.[/font]

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 08:43 PM

10. Bush WH broke the law ... the point is 'GOP' is another way to spell hypocrisy

FLASHBACK: When Millions Of Lost Bush White House Emails (From Private Accounts) Triggered A Media Shrug

Even for a Republican White House that was badly stumbling through George W. Bush's sixth year in office, the revelation on April 12, 2007 was shocking. Responding to congressional demands for emails in connection with its investigation into the partisan firing of eight U.S. attorneys, the White House announced that as many as five million emails, covering a two-year span, had been lost.

The emails had been run through private accounts controlled by the Republican National Committee and were only supposed to be used for dealing with non-administration political campaign work to avoid violating ethics laws. Yet congressional investigators already had evidence private emails had been used for government business, including to discuss the firing of one of the U.S. attorneys. The RNC accounts were used by 22 White House staffers, including then-Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who reportedly used his RNC email for 95 percent of his communications.

As the Washington Post reported, "Under federal law, the White House is required to maintain records, including e-mails, involving presidential decision- making and deliberations." But suddenly millions of the private RNC emails had gone missing; emails that were seen as potentially crucial evidence by Congressional investigators.

The White House email story broke on a Wednesday. Yet on that Sunday's Meet The Press, Face The Nation, and Fox News Sunday, the topic of millions of missing White House emails did not come up. At all. (The story did get covered on ABC's This Week.)
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... and let's not forget the M$M who grovel at the GOPers feet.


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Response to Bill USA (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 12:08 AM

11. All the bs directed at Hillary

Is really just more repuke and troll projection! There are no wirds fir the violatins committed by Bushco.

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 08:44 AM

5. And the cover-up always conceals a larger crime....

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 09:53 AM

6. amazing isn't it. . .n/t

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