June 16th, 2008
11:55 AM ET
15 years ago

Judge: White House office does not have to turn over records

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/16/art.computerwh0616.gi.jpg caption="The White House won a ruling in federal court Monday in a lawsuit about its computer system and e-mails."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House Office of Administration is not required to turn over records about a trove of possibly missing emails, a federal judge in Washington ruled Monday.

A ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly says the agency does not have "substantial independent authority" so is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Therefore, the White House does not have to disclose documents relating to its troubled e-mail system. That system developed problems which may have caused millions of White House emails to be unaccounted for.

The watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington–known as CREW– had sued under the Freedom of Information Act. The group expressed disappointment in the ruling and said it is appealing the decision.

"The Bush administration is using the legal system to prevent the American people from discovering the truth about the millions of missing White House e-mails," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.

In January, the White House said it cannot rule out that it may have lost certain e-mails. The possibly lost e-mails are from a period in which the United States decided to go to war with Iraq, White House officials leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson and the Justice Department started a criminal investigation into who leaked the information.

The White House has denied any evidence, including e-mails, have been destroyed.

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Gordo

    What do you mean elect? The Bush's appoint, and if Jeb wants to be the Pres....he will be, period. If not McCain will be, because the Bush family is not done with world domonation yet. America you are so screwed, no medical, no homes, and now no jobs, the only thing worse is another Bush, and then it will be no peace until someone fires off the big-one, then the idiots that started it will crawl out of there bunkers, and laugh at all the losers, that beening you and I. Bush should be swinging right next to Sadam.

    June 16, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Susan

    How convenient for Bushie – thing sgot lost- like his mind???

    June 16, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Snarf, Atlanta

    Makes no difference anymore. We all know they destroyed those emails because they put the Valerie Plame crime inside the Oval Office. At this point, we can't be bothered with impeaching a lame duck. No one is paying Bush any attention anymore. The truth will come out when he's having his ghost-writer reading his memoirs to him.

    June 16, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    This is a disgraceful and disgusting ruling. The Bush White House has been so deceitful and so secretive its entire tenure, I am certain they have deliberately and routinely destroyed documents and erased millions of emails. I surely hope this ruling will be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court! This White House arrogantly forgets that WE pay THEIR salaries. They also think they have the right to read OUR emails and listen in on OUR phone calls. If that is so, then WE, the PEOPLE, have EVERY RIGHT to KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY'VE BEEN DOING with our tax dollars!!!!!

    June 16, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Brian Knoxville, TN

    how much did they pay the judge?

    I LOVE OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. MD

    Bush should been put through impeachment process, but the Democrats calculated that they will win the election without that.

    Let's see if Dean and Pelosi's gambit pays off.

    June 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. mike

    ooooo yes not a surprise!!!!!! Bush deleted emails and hide the files hahahahahahah good for you Bush you are the biggest looser anyways. McBush is the same person as Bush so try to vote for Mccain and will see what happens . I dont vote for careless American that doesnt care about our troops coming home!!!!

    June 16, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Socialism has only killed 100 Million people... let's give it another try!

    Yes, let's start "impeachment proceedings" over any and all things and/or policies differences with which I disagree (or could benefit me politically).

    What's that? Bush is a Republican?! Oh, the Nerve!!! Start impeachment proceedings NOW!

    June 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Rick

    The white house should be transparent.
    Nominees should be transparent.
    This world is a dangerous place today.
    Please bring all questionable acts by candidates and by the white house accountable.

    Obama is scary..
    He still needs more vetting.
    What is wrong with our government.
    I know that African Americans think he's great.
    That's okay. But how could we invite this man in our living room after seening his racist and radical friends..
    Now he is acting as if he can deal with interational problems when he has absolutely no military experience.
    Hamas supports him.
    We still don't know how the Muslim countries will view him because of his being raised by his Muslim father.

    June 16, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Jeff, Chicago, IL

    Why is it they ever only manage to "lose" the relevant bits? It's never the interoffice football pool e-mail or the dancing baby YouTube links.

    As noted earlier there is no way these were "lost". The guys running that network would be fired instantly if it were so and just not going to happen at that level.

    June 16, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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