The White House is currently under fire for allegations that it violated the Presidential Records Act by failing to archive official e-mails. Facing a court order, the White House yesterday acknowledged that it recycled its “backup computer tapes of e-mail before October 2003,” raising the possibility that many messages “have been taped over and are gone forever.”
Yet when asked about the missing e-mails in today’s White House press briefing, spokesman Tony Fratto inexplicably tried to claim that the White House has “absolutely no reason to believe that any e-mails are missing.” He argued that these scurrilous charges of missing e-mails “came from outside the White House.”
Fortunately, we have Henry Waxman to set the record straight.
The White House possesses no archived e-mail messages for many of its component offices, including the Executive Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President, for hundreds of days between 2003 and 2005, according to the summary of an internal White House study that was disclosed yesterday by a congressional Democrat.
The 2005 study -- whose credibility the White House attacked this week -- identified 473 separate days in which no electronic messages were stored for one or more White House offices, said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.).
Did Fratto not realize he'd be called on such a blatant falsehood? Or does the Bush White House simply no longer care?