“We’re learning that off-book communications are being used by these people in the White House by using Republican political e-mail addresses and they say they have not been preserved,” Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor. “I don’t believe that! You can’t erase e-mails, not today.”Time to subpoena those servers. Any what might we find there?
Richard M. Smith, an Internet security and privacy consultant in Boston, said Mr. Leahy’s surmise that the missing e-mail messages are preserved somewhere could be right. But he said there was no way to know without a thorough examination of all the computers the messages passed through.
The Democrats’ investigation into the political e-mail accounts grows directly out of the inquiry into the firing of the United States attorneys. When the Justice Department turned over documents to Congress, they showed that, contrary to the White House’s initial assertions, Mr. Rove and Harriet E. Miers, the former White House counsel, seemed to be involved in planning the dismissals.I should think that's enough to start criminal proceedings. It looks like the RNC knew something nefarious was going on with the Rovians, and they wanted to cover their collective asses:
The documents also revealed that a deputy to Mr. Rove, Scott Jennings, who works in the White House Office of Political Affairs, had used his Republican National Committee e-mail account, ending in gwb43.com, to communicate about the dismissals with a top aide to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.
The committee appears to have changed its e-mail retention policies twice, possibly in response to the investigation by a special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, into the leak of the name of a C.I.A. officer. When that inquiry began, in early 2004, the committee’s practice was to purge all e-mail from its servers after 30 days.Don't you just love it when a plan comes together!? Even the RNC knew they were going to end up in the investigation fray sooner or later, so they took special precautions to keep Turd Blossom from deleting his own emails. Now, the White House is going to say those are under their control so they can claim executive privilege, but that strategy won't fly because then they would have been breaking the law by doing official business on non-official channels, just the opposite of what they claim they were doing with the RNC accounts in the first place (complying with the Hatch law, which says you can't do partisan business on official channels). It's one way or another, and their in trouble either way.
But in August of that year, according to the Republican official, the committee decided that e-mail sent by White House officials would be kept on the server. Still, the change did not prevent White House officials from manually deleting their e-mail, and some, including Mr. Rove, apparently did. So in 2005, the committee took steps to prevent Mr. Rove from doing so.
“Mr. Kelner did not provide many details about why this special policy was adopted for Mr. Rove,” Mr. Waxman wrote. “But he did indicate that one factor was the presence of investigative or discovery requests or other legal concerns.”
Yup! It's beginning to feel like 1972 all over again when "just a third-rate burglary" turned into the end of a dynasty. And this time, please! No pardons for any of them!
Update due to an aging, but fond, memory. I originally said 1971 instead of 1972. It was, after all, the Seventies.