It is essential that congress immediately, today, issues orders to confisticate RNC hard drives to prevent further purges of records, and to prevent the hard drives from being wiped at a deeper level, since some deletions can be retrieved.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel reported that 22 Whitehouse employees used RNC emails, including Karl Rove and a number of his assistants.
"Some official e-mails have potentially been lost and that is a mistake the White House is aggressively working to correct," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel told reporters.Asked whether some of the lost e-mails could be related to the firings of the U.S. attorneys last year, Stanzel said: "That can't be ruled out."
Democrats reacted with scorn.
"This sounds like the administration's version of the dog ate my homework. I am deeply disturbed that just when this Administration is finally subjected to meaningful oversight, it cannot produce the necessary information," said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee....Some White House aides trying to avoid violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits using government property for certain political activities, may have used the political account to communicate about official White House business, Stanzel said.
Some of those official e-mails may now be lost because the RNC had a policy of deleting e-mails about every 30 days. That policy was changed in 2004 to exclude White House officials, who are required to retain records and correspondence. Everything e-mailed from a White House account is automatically archived, Stanzel said.
The only way to insure that RNC operatives do not electronically remove all vestiges of the records is to impound the machines. This is eerily familiar, like the erased audio recordings that Nixon Secretary Rosemary Woods tried to explain, as I mentioned in my March 22nd article Looking For Another Rose Mary Woods.
Now, we need to find the Whitehouse staffers who read and printed out those deleted emails. You don't start at the top. You start with people like Bush's Monica Goodling, or even lower down the totem pole-- Goodling's lower level assistants.
But first, Senator Leahy and John Conyers need to get those hard drives to a place where they are not going to be "accidentally" wiped totally clean. It's a long shot. It was probably just done in the past few weeks. I'd even bet on it. Still, they should try.