Battle Between Watchdogs, White House Over Email Controversy Continues

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and George Washington University’s National Security Archive sued the Bush administration last year alleging the White House violated the Presidential Records Act by not archiving emails sent and received between 2003 and 2005. The group’s want a federal magistrate to force the White House to archive its emails and search for emails that are missing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola demanded that the White House show cause why it should not be ordered to create and preserve a “forensic copy” of emails from individual hard drives. Facciola entered the order in part because the White House admitted that it did not preserve back-up tapes prior to October 2003.

In a federal court filing in March, the White House’s chief information officer said the Bush administration should not be compelled to search for millions of emails on individual computers and hard drives that may have been lost between 2003 and 2005 because it would be too expensive and require hundreds of hours of work.

On Tuesday, Meredith Fuchs, the National Security Archive’s general counsel with the National Security Archive, said “the latest filings in the White House e-mail case concerning Magistrate Judge Facciola’s report and recommendation. Judge Kennedy that he issue an expanded preservation order that would require copying of hard drives and preservation of external storage devices. In theory, the government can file only one more response on this issue and the court will then rule.”

Download the PDF’s for the whole story:

73 05192008 Archive Opposition to govt objections.pdf

74 05192008 crew opposition to govt objections.pdf

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