Our friends at CREW are back in the news. They’ve put out a report saying “the Executive Office of the President (EOP) has lost over FIVE MILLION emails generated between March 2003 and October 2005.” The White House was apparently given a plan to recover those emails, but has chosen to do nothing. I’m going to go ahead and guess that the plan to uncover those emails will never be undertaken unless done so with the power of a federal subpoena, because those emails were meant to be lost.
But guess what? Turns out, this is all illegal! Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post asked a White House spokesman to read aloud the White House’s policy on email retention, and this is what he said:
“Federal law requires the preservation of electronic communications sent or received by White House staff… The official EOP e-mail system is designed to automatically comply with records management requirements.”
Federal law? Holy cow! Deleting your emails is a federal offense, and the official email system is designed so emails will never be “accidentally” deleted. These guys are totally on the hook, right? Wait, there’s more?
“Personnel working on behalf of the EOP [Executive Office of the President] are expected to only use government-provided e-mail services for all official communication.”
Bring in Patrick Fitzgerald now! Everyone is going to prison!