HOUSE GOP DISCOVERS THE IMPORTANCE OF WH EMAILS…. I’m sorry, the Irony-O-Meter I keep on my desk just burst into flames.
A California Republican congressman has called on President Obama to put in place a system that ensures all White House emails be preserved even if official business was done through private e- mail accounts.
Rep. Darrell Issa, the senior Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, made the request in a February 19 letter to White House Counsel Greg Craig.
Issa specifically mentioned the new administration’s brief use of Gmail accounts after Obama was sworn in last month, as they waited for the official White House e-mail accounts to become active.
“As you know, any e-mail sent or received by White House officials may be subject to retention under the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” Issa wrote Craig in the letter.
“The use of personal e-mail accounts, such as Gmail to conduct official business raises the prospect that presidential records will not be captured by the White House e-mail archiving system. Consequently Gmail users on the President’s staff run the risk of incorrectly classifying their e-mails as non-records under the [Presidential Records] Act.”
Issa, easily a #2 seed on my bracket for Most Ridiculous Member of Congress competition, also asked the White House to respond to a series of additional questions about the administration’s email archiving. He said the answers are due in two weeks.
The irony, of course, is that Issa couldn’t care less about an actual scandal regarding White House emailing archiving. Bushies lost untold thousands of emails, with no archive or backups. Indeed, the former president’s team deliberately created a “primitive” email system that created a high risk that data would be lost — there was “no automatic system to ensure that e-mails were archived and preserved.”
Perhaps most startling of all, the Bush Administration managed to dismantle, apparently on purpose, the Clinton Administration’s email archive system — which worked just fine — without replacing it with anything at all.
When Henry Waxman raised concerns about all of this, Darrell Issa dismissed the questions as partisan sniping.
But now Issa is worried about the Obama White House failing to fully comply with the Presidential Records Act. Funny, up until recently, Issa preferred to pretend the Presidential Records Act didn’t exist. I wonder what changed his mind?