White House Loses E-Mail Case

Also See:
Behind The Missing White House E-Mail

By Laton McCartney

The White House took a significant legal hit last week when U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. denied a motion by the Bush Administration to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its failure to properly store and recover millions of e-mails.

Some 5 million White House emails, many of them reportedly dealing with sensitive political issues, have reportedly been lost. For more on this story, read the previous article.

The lawsuit upheld the rights of two Washington- based watchdog groups, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) and the Nation Security Archive, to sue the White House for failing to comply with the Federal Records Act. Crew and Archive filed the suit jointly and may now proceed with efforts to force the Bush Administration to recover millions of Executive Office of the President (EOP) e-mail records before the presidential transition.

"This decision affirms that this type of claim is legitimate," said Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs.

Added Fuchs, "Through this lawsuit we have preserved over 65,000 computer backup tapes. This decision means those tapes will survive the end of the Bush Administration so that Congress, the courts, historians and eventually the public will be able to learn about the decision-making that took place over the last 8 years."

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