Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Dog Didn't Eat Their Homework, the RNC Servers Did

A new "Blog Brief" column I wrote with Darin McMullen was published today in the Legal Intelligencer, and can be read here. It concerns the "missing" White House emails about official business that were routed through RNC and Bush campaign email accounts and then were conveniently deleted.

Here is the lede:
As the investigation into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys unfolds, a scandal within the scandal has emerged. While investigating whether these dismissals were motivated by the U.S. attorneys' investigations of Republicans or failures to investigate Democrats, Congress has learned that White House staffers have been using e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee and the Bush re-election campaign. Further, it appears that these accounts were used to conduct official White House business.

The mere use of nongovernment e-mail accounts to conduct official White House business is controversial in and of itself. As many commentators have observed, dual systems for conducting official White House business may have created a significant breach in national security. The White House is a prime target of espionage, and RNC resources are not likely to be as well secured from foreign eavesdropping as the White House system. . . .

What's more, the revelation of the widespread use of RNC accounts has also spawned another spin-off scandal: the Bush administration has acknowledged that it "mishandled" these accounts, resulting in the "loss" of an undisclosed number of e-mail concerning official government business. As a result, the public is once again left questioning the Bush administration's tactics and efforts to operate under a shroud of secrecy and away from public scrutiny and accountability.
The article includes links to two Daily Kos diaries (one by Citizen92 and one by Jpadgett), some excellent work by Paul Kiel (here and here) at TPM Muckraker, a couple of posts by Anonymous Liberal, one by Glenn Greenwald (now at Salon), some information from CREW, and an old column by former White House Counsel John Dean.

Take a look.

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