White House Emails: White House Wins
Is the battle for millions of missing White House emails over? The Washington Post reports that a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the White House’s Office of Administration, which stores emails, doesn’t have to release internal documents about its email archiving practices. The judge ruled that the Freedom of Information Act doesn’t apply to the office, which throws out the lawsuit filed by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive. CREW and National Security Archive had claimed that by not properly storing the emails, the White House violated the Presidential Records Act.
This probably isn’t the last we’ll read about missing White House emails, as CREW has promised to appeal the decision. Also, the House oversight committee is still conducting an investigation into why millions of emails between 2003 and 2005 can’t be accounted for. The backstory on the missing emails is confusing. For one, it’s not clear how many emails were lost when the White House switched its archiving system from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange in 2003. And we don’t know how many "missing emails" are actually lost emails. What shouldn’t be lost in the fog, however, is the charge that through bad motives or gross incompetence there’s a ton of emails missing from the President and Vice President’s office during the lead up to the Iraq War and the start of the Valerie Plame leak investigation. The president and vice-president have never explained this alarming archiving gap. It looks like they may never have to.