Monday, June 18, 2007

Do YOU use RNC e-mail?

E-mail scandals -- the new Watergate.

In March 2007, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said only a "handful of officials" had Republican National Committee (RNC) e-mail accounts. In later statements, her estimate rose to "50 over the course of the administration." Actually, the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has learned from the RNC (after two subpoenas were issued) that at least 88 White House officials had RNC e-mail accounts.

What's the issue? These e-mail accounts were used for government business, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments. This is a violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978.

Why would people use their RNC account instead of their official .gov account? As Susan Ralston, Karl Rove's former executive assistant, said in an e-mail to Todd Boulanger, one of Jack Abramoff's associates, "I now have an RNC blackberry which you can use to e-mail me at anytime. No security issues like my WH e-mail." In other words, there's no official paper trail. Plus, the RNC e-mails can be easily destroyed without the White House's involvement or knowledge. In fact, only records for 37 of the 88 accounts are available, and the 37 aren't complete.

Sounds like a scandal, huh? Read the official Committee findings here.

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