Sues White House Office of Administration Over Refusal to Respond
to FOIA on Five Million Missing Emails,"
May 23, 2007
Gaggle by Dana Perino, April 13, 2007
Briefing by Dana Perino, April 13, 2007
Briefing by Dana Perino, April 16, 2007
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, "Committee Requests
Information on Reports of Lost White House E-mails,"
August 30, 2007
Seeks White House E-Mail Report," by Pete Yost,
Associated Press, in Washington Post, Aug. 30, 2007.
House Declares Office Off-Limits," by Dan Eggen,
Washington Post, Aug. 23, 2007
House seeks to withhold records," by Pete Yost
(AP), Miami Herald, Aug. 21, 2007
DC, September 5, 2007 -
The National Security Archive today sued the White House seeking
the recovery and preservation of more than 5 million White House
e-mail messages that were apparently deleted from White House
computers between March 2003 and October 2005.
The lawsuit filed
this morning in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
names as defendants the Executive Office of the President and
its components that are subject to the Federal Records Act,
including the White House Office of Administration (OA), and
the National Archives and Records Administration (which is responsible
for long-term preservation of federal and presidential records),
under the records laws and the Administrative Procedure Act.
White House officials ranging from spokesperson
Dana Perino to counsel Keith Roberts have acknowledged in
press and Congressional briefings that e-mail is missing from
the White House archive, and that the EOP in 2002 abandoned
the electronic records management system put in place by the
Clinton White House. Whistleblowers cited in conjunction with
a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the watchdog
for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have
alleged that more than 5 million e-mail messages are missing
from the White House servers.
"The Bush White House broke the law and erased our history
by deleting those e-mail messages," said National Security
Archive director Tom Blanton. "The period of the missing
email starts with the invasion of Iraq and runs through the
aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."
Archive general counsel Meredith Fuchs said, "Without
court oversight, there's no guarantee the White House will ever
recover the missing e-mails or install an effective archiving
"The law is clear that e-mails count as government records,"
said attorney Sheila Shadmand of the law firm Jones
Day, which is representing the Archive. "The White
House admits e-mails are missing but we have no assurance they
are fixing the problem."
The National Security Archive, an independent non-governmental
organization based at George Washington University, brought
the original White
House e-mail lawsuit (which included a wide range of scholarly,
library and public interest co-plaintiffs) against Presidents
Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. That lawsuit
produced landmark rulings in the early 1990s that e-mail had
to be treated as government records. Those rulings led to the
preservation of more than 30 million White House e-mail messages
from the 1980s and 1990s.
National Security Archive
v. Executive Office of the President, filed
5 September 2007
Sues to Recover 5 Million Missing White House E-mails"
Million Missing White House E-mails: The Facts" [PDF]
"Without a Trace: The Story Behind the Missing White House
E-Mails and the Violations of the Presidential Records Act,"
April 12, 2007 [PDF]
from Chairman Waxman to White House Counsel Fred Fielding,
August, 30, 2007 [PDF]