Waxman advises RNC not to destroy any e-mails
Michael Roston
Published: Monday March 26, 2007
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Pointing to e-mails between Bush administration officials and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff that used private e-mail addresses, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ordered the Republican National Committee and the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign to preserve all e-mail records and to ensure that they aren't purged or destroyed.

"White House officials have used nongovernmental e-mail accounts, including those maintained by the RNC, to conduct official White House business," Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote in letters delivered today, copies of which were sent to RAW STORY. "The Committee has questions about who has access to these e-mail records and how the RNC protects them from destruction and tampering."

One letter was delivered to Mike Duncan, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. A similar letter was directed to former Governor Marc Racicot, who headed the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign.

Waxman also noted that according to the terms of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, "Such e-mails written in the conduct of White House business would appear to be governmental records subject to preservation and eventual public disclosure."

The Oversight Committee's request was prompted by the recent investigation of the firing of US Attorneys by the White House. In some e-mails, J. Scott Jennings, the Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs at the White House, used a "gwb43.com" address. The Committee's letter also took note of a National Journal published over the weekend that said top White House aide Karl Rove used an RNC e-mail account for "about 95 percent of his e-mail."

Waxman also pointed to three e-mails exchanged between White House officials and convicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, as well as a fourth e-mail from Neil Volz, the former Chief of Staff to Rep. Bob Ney. Both Volz and Ney were convicted of crimes related to their activities with Abramoff.

The letters from Waxman's office can be accessed at his committee's website.