Another Email Scandal

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As a follow-on to Nick’s post about the missing White House emails, I should point out that there’s another email scandal brewing—this one in Missouri, where the former deputy legal counsel to Governor Matt Blunt (son of House Minority Whip Roy Blunt) has alleged that the governor and four of his aides schemed to destroy potentially damaging electronic communications. According to a suit filed yesterday by Scott Eckersley, Blunt’s one-time legal counsel Henry Herschel instructed staffers to destroy email records related to the politically-motivated firing of a state official, rather than turn them over to the press under a public records request. Ed Martin, then serving as Blunt’s chief of staff, subsequently “instructed the governor’s office to delete e-mail in inbox and trash files ‘to ensure they did not have to be turned over to the press or the public in response to Sunshine requests,'” according to the Kansas City Star.

And this is what happened when reporters confronted Blunt about the allegations earlier today:

At the governor’s annual prayer breakfast, Blunt declined to answer questions from The Associated Press about Eckersley’s lawsuit but pledged to discuss it at a later news conference on drunken driving laws. At that news conference, however, Blunt devoted barely 2 minutes to questions about the lawsuit—refusing to discuss it any detail—and then turned his back on reporters and walked out of the room while ignoring continued questions.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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