The White House is the home of the President and the office of about 400 employees who are provided official whitehouse.gov email addresses. But for one reason or another, these addresses are not always used.
Did you know that…
- former White House officials serving under President George W. Bush sent emails from accounts provided by the Republican National Committee?
- these officials included senior advisor Karl Rove, chief of staff Andrew Card, director of political affairs Sara Taylor, and about 85 other officials?
- the RNC deleted over 5 million of these emails?
These bullets are facts
, according to a
June 2007 report
of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Daniel Schulman takes this data, along with newer information and interviews, and presents his case in the September-October 2008 issue of
with the title, “
Control Delete Escape
,” and argues that the
White House violated the Presidential Records Act
Unfortunately, we may never know because of Executive Order 13233 which Bush signed into law two months after 9/11. In the name of national security, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez drafted legislation to enable any incumbent or former presidential documents from FOIA release unless both individuals (and their heirs) agree.
In reaction to Bush overturning a Reagan law (who in turn revised a Nixon law) that caused red-tape headaches to presidential library archivists, Congress decided to act.
Early drafts of the Presidential Records Act of 2007 attempted to return many elements of the 2001 law to Reagan language while preserving the national security essence that Bush sought. For instance, Bush wanted to protect vice presidential records (clearly Iraq-related documents) but because that was not in the Reagan language, Congress took it out.
While the House passed H.R. 1255 in March 2007 with a bipartisan (and overwhelming) vote of 333-93, the Senate bill stalled.
Capitol Hill will shortly see some personnel changes. With hope, there will be legal reform too. The question remains to be answered if a new law ought to be initiated by the new president or the new Congress.