January 14th, 2009
10:27 PM ET
11 years ago

Court orders White House to preserve e-mails

A federal judge has ordered the White House to preserve its emails.

A federal judge has ordered the White House to preserve its emails.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A federal judge has ordered the Bush White House to preserve its e-mails, just days before a new administration takes over.

The court's preservation notice Wednesday stems from a ongoing lawsuit by private groups over allegedly missing electronic messages, and allegations the
White House failed to properly monitor its internal communications among staff.

The issue has been a thorny legal and political one for outgoing Bush officials, who are in the process of transferring more than 300 million e-mail messages and 25,000 boxes of documents to the National Archives.

U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy instructed officials to search all White House workstations "and to collect and preserve all e-mails sent or received between March 2003 and October 2005."

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Filed under: Popular Posts • White House
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. JasonA

    This request was given to Clinton as well. His aids ignored it just like Bush will. Both of these parties are corrupt. You kool-aid drinkers just have blinders on.

    January 14, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. Ex-Republican

    I think if they fail to comply, we should make them a HUGE, unprecedented example of these domestic terrorists. It would send a beautiful message to the world if we were to lock up Bush and Cheney at Levinworth, for LIFE, and only when all documents have been released, will they. But they will only be released to stand trial for ALL war crimes and constitutional laws they have broken...

    Triple life sentences for EACH of them. Make an example out of the terrorists...Bush and Cheney

    January 14, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. dmcext

    I love the righteous indignation! Where was this order when the Clintons left office.....gee I wonder...

    January 14, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Greg Ebert, Portland, OR

    Of course, there will be some kind of "computer error" or "rogue virus" that destroys everything.

    Remember the 17 minute segment missing from the Watergate tapes ? Today it's 17 million missing emails.

    January 14, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. dimes1

    I have no problem with having to save 3 million+ e-mails or the idiot democrats that will take their mean spirited always backward looking view on life and think that any of it really matters or that anyone really cares other than other mean small minded backwards looking Democrats.

    January 14, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Herman

    The emails will never become public because people like Dingy Harry Reid, Stretch Pelosi, Barnyard Barney Frank, The Messiah Obama, Hillary, Lurch Kerry, Dentures Biden, The Swimmer Kennedy and the like will have their names all over it, and the truth will prevail and hurt. You people really believe that the executive branch of government has more power than the legislative may want to study up on your constitutional law. It is not going to be pretty, and this will get hushed up in a NY minute. You wait and see...poof, where did they go?

    January 14, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. steve

    let see obama's email's and how about clinton's (hillary's) email from her time in office

    January 14, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. damien

    Send in the US Marshals !!! Screen the trash !!! Filter the sewer pipes !!! Strip searches !!! Cavity searches !!! Exempt NO ONE !!

    January 14, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Andrew

    What a waste of paper!

    January 14, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Maggie

    Even if they delete the e-mails, nothing is ever really deleted on the internet. It'd be easy enough for a computer wiz to get the e-mails back.

    January 14, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    All of you lefties are a bunch of speculators and conspiracy theorists of this administration. What you should be concerned with is Obama's reasoning with wanting to meet with Hamas, who want Israel wiped out and convert the world to Islam!

    Perhaps some of you smelly and fat coffee shop nerds should close your laptops, put down the glazed cake donut, take a shower for once in over 2 weeks and clean up your acts!

    January 14, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Meh

    They need to get ahold of the hard drives on their computers. You know they've long since deleted any evidence.

    January 14, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Mugwump

    My, my, my, what will all the consiracy theorists have to vent about after January 20, 2009, when President Bush leaves office?

    Oh yeah...there will be another group of conspiracy theorists questioning Obama's ethics and deceptive actions as president.

    All are only a bunch of know nothing whiners.

    January 14, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Eric

    They'll just delete the e-mails anyway. What will they do, send them to life in prison for deleting e-mails? Chances are the contents of the e-mails contain far more incriminating information that would get them in deeper trouble than if they just cleaned them out. Sad, we most likely will never know what happened behind the scenes. Cheney is a criminal and belongs behind bars.

    January 14, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Jen

    Well too bad they already deleted all the ones that say anything worse than "Is this Starbuck's or Seattle's Best?"

    January 14, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Brad

    I am sure this crooked administration is busy trying to figure a way to get around this court order. lol

    January 14, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Herman

    I would really love to see all the emails released, to see who, what, when, where, and how everyone was involved. It might make some heads really spin...but, again, they'll never see the light of day.

    January 14, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. ED

    The crooked democrats have destroyed their emails for their support to the war... If Bush destroys them he is only following their footsteps. BTW – Valarie Plane was not a covert CIA agent...

    January 14, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Dave

    Bet that shredder has been worked so hard...its SMOKIN~!

    They have probably worn the DELETE letters off the buttons of their keyboards!

    Careful criminals they are...

    January 14, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. joe kirby

    Our soon to be President finally has something positive on his resume'. Let's see, so far he has been an admitted drug user, a fund raiser for ACORN which is a semi-legal outfit that seems to hate whites and help blacks, a friend to white hating minister Wright, a friend to muslim Farrakan, a friend to terrorist Ayers, a husband to a 'never been proud to be an American wife' (who got a 300% pay raise the week he got elected to the senate), a friend to a Syrian swindler (Resko) who helped him get his house, but finally he can put on his resume' that he is the President of the US (but hates to wear flags and cross his heart for our national anthem.) Makes me proud to be an American and watch him CHANGE America back to the Clinton years and pursue Socialism.

    January 14, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. Jeff E.

    It is amusiung to hear the right wing groaning when Bush is forced to obey the law. He and his staff knew the rules all along, and now, because they're told they must obey them, they cry foul or hiss about "conspiracy theories." This guy was a disaster as President. It's time to admit it and move on.

    January 14, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Speaking of e-mail.....

    CNN–can you give us an update on David Kernell, the son of a Democratic Tenn. Legislator who hacked into Sarah Palin's e-mail account and then published it.

    He was supposed to go on trial Dec 16 and could be given a $ 250.000 fine and 5 years up the river.

    Please put your update on the Ticker.

    Thank you.

    January 14, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Jim

    But deleting those emails is keeping us safe from the terrorists.

    January 14, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Anonymous Seattlite

    Wow Mike Mundy,
    What an intelligent and articulate criticism. You Republicans sure know how to "wow" the world with your keen intellect. I'll have you know that I shower daily and maybe if you spent some time on your laptop...doing what us lefties refer to as "research" (crazy, I know), you might be able to come of with a more constructive and articulate comment. By the way, preservation of emails and documentation is a LAW written to hold our government accountable to us THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. I'm not quite sure how, or why, you would argue against such a thing.

    January 14, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. ran

    Too little too late.

    January 14, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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