Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Conditional Approval for Private Organization Probe White House emails

Note the Judge didn't yet authorize the organization to begin a probe, but considered the potential, contingent on whether the judge decides that the office's functions are limited to serving the president. Should the judge make that determination, the private organization would not be investigating the situation.

Shouldn't an independent public entity be doing the investigating? If emails are missing, or were destroyed, contrary to federal laws and acts, then shouldn't a public and independent and autonomous investigator be appointed, not a private organization who may have motivation to suppress anything which might exonerate the White House?

(Net the Truth Online)

See our previous post.

Saturday, January 19, 2008
Emails Really Missing?


Judge OKs White House e-mail probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge agreed Monday to allow a private group to delve into the operations of an office at the White House as part of a controversy over whether large amounts of e-mail have disappeared.

Permitting any private organization to inquire into White House functions is an unusual step, a point U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly underscored in her six-page order.

The judge said she will allow Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to gather a "very limited" amount of information from the White House Office of Administration, which is in charge of preserving e-mail.

The issue for Kollar-Kotelly is whether the Office of Administration operates with substantial independent authority. If the judge finds that it does, the private group can pursue data about what went wrong with the White House e-mail system.

If the judge decides that the office's functions are limited to serving the president, she likely will dismiss the suit.

Kollar-Kotelly rejected a proposal by the Office of Administration to provide a written description of its functions, saying CREW should be allowed to conduct evidence-gathering over the next 45 days.

The White House is required to retain electronic messages under the President Records Act and the Federal Records Act.

The citizens group says more than 10 million e-mails were not properly retained and recently called for a criminal investigation. The White House says there is no evidence that e-mail is missing.

CREW sued the Office of Administration last year under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking records about White House e-mail problems. The White House says the Office of Administration is not subject to the public records law and that CREW's lawsuit should be dismissed...


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