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Waxman v. Watchdog

Elisa Mueller
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Apr 17, 2008

The government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued the White House last May for millions of missing White House e-mails. In moving forward with their case- now in D.C. district court- they’ve appeared to be of the same mind as Democrats on Rep. Henry A. Waxman’s (D-Calif.) oversight committee. The oversight committee has held hearings and released reports that document the archiving incompetence that a CREW report did much to first publicize.

But on the issue of what to do about future White House archiving, CREW and the committee are far apart. Yesterday afternoon the committee fired off a press release touting their introduction of the Electronic Communications Preservation Act. The bill would direct the National Archives and Record Administration to develop a standard for capturing and retrieving White House e-mails.

In the hour, CREW put out a press release of their own, calling the committee’s legislation “anemic” and stuck in the 20th century.

CREW’s opinions stem from a larger report called “Record Chaos,” which documents archiving problems throughout the federal bureaucracy (available on their Web site ).

Karen Lightfoot, a spokeswoman for the oversight committee, responded to the Washington Post that the legislation is a “good start” to the archiving problems.

It will be interesting to see if the spat over the legislation will affect CREW and the committee’s ongoing pursuit of millions of still unaccounted for e-mails.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

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