Administration Plays Hide and Seek With Missing E-Mails
Posted on Aug 22, 2007
In an apparent effort to keep the estimated 5 million missing White House e-mails missing, the Justice Department is claiming that the White House Office of Administration, which handles IT support for the executive branch, is not covered by freedom-of-information law. Press-freedom advocate Lucy Dalglish notices a trend: “When they don’t want to comply with the law, they just shamelessly argue they are not subject to the law.”
In its filing in U.S. District Court, the Justice Department acknowledged that the White House office “currently has regulations implementing” the Freedom of Information Act and has not previously taken the position that it is exempt from the disclosure requirements.
The department cited a court ruling in the 1990s that the National Security Council was not subject to the disclosure law.
According to the suit, the Office of Administration has prepared estimates saying at least 5 million e-mails from March 2003 to October 2005 are missing from the White House.