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

Court orders White House to preserve e-mails

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/14/art.whsunrise0114.gi.jpg caption="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. Bushed

    One point often missed is that the Bushes are third generation crooks. Of course, GW mastered the art of cookery. You think not then see the facts, his team of Rummy, Cheney and the rest of the neo-cons was one he inherited from his papa.

    January 14, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Herman

    Wow, the last 8 years have been terrible? Really? Amazing how it started to get really bad after the Dems took over in 2006...I guess you libs only cherry pick what you want for your cause. I guess NO ONE made any money when times were good...cowards!

    Anyways, Eagles will win its 1st Super Bowl.

    January 14, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. John

    you people so dis regard the fact that congress sent these boys to war.
    over CIA evidence. The same evidence bush looked at.

    January 14, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. rickymo

    I am so loving this...what goes around after 8 miserable years comes around.

    January 14, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. Ryan

    Joe Kirby, you are a tool. That name must be an alias for who you really are, Sean Hannity.

    Republicans are out, we are in. Quit whining

    January 14, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Kyle

    Just like Bush said of the Patriot Act, "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about."

    January 14, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. obama-mama

    I can see Bush packing up all the empty liquor bottles from under the bed.

    January 14, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Craig B

    What exactly will change in your life, your children's life, etc etc... if you know what GW's emails said? Really, seriously think about it... Even if he had a big curly-hair winky, smiley face emoticon after his email to his chiefs of staff saying that he wanted to go to war to avenge daddy Bush, or sending naked pictures of Cheney to Bill Clinton, or whatever else he's being alleged with in his emails... How does that concern us?!?

    There will NEVER be full disclosure of anything. It's bad for national security, and it's frankly none of our business! We elected this man to make decisions for our country, and he has done so. It is NOT our place to second guess those decisions, and demand to see the intelligence that went into it. Just quit with the theories, and realize that the court has no place in this... all the left-wing conspiracy theorists and the new right-wing ones getting ready to come crawling out of the woodwork need to suck it up and find something better to do with their time.

    I say good for them for not disclosing it, good for them for shredding things that have no place in our "almighty" courts (maybe they should go back to investigating steroids in baseball?), good for them for standing up to these liberalist morons who think that we can all drink tea and eat crumpets and braid each others hair "and the world will live as one"...

    To sum it up - the courts, on paper, can tell the executive branch what to do... But, come on..... seriously... he's the president... he can, and will, do whatever in the heck he wants to do... and will smile that great smile the whole time he does it.

    January 14, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. Chris in MI

    Since when has this gang ever obeyed the rule of law??
    Of course, we've got a mayor here in Detroit (and his mistress) in jail over text message regarding perjury..Hey, maybe this'll work, after all!

    January 14, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Debbie, TX

    John, you would be surprised how stupid people are. With this Administration, nothing surprises me.

    January 14, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. dennisk

    The only justice will be criminal indictments against the entire Bush administration.

    January 14, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Brian

    Sounds like a liberal leaning judge trying to make a name for himself. Possibly get in good with the Obama dimwits. Stupid liberal pukes.

    January 14, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. sick n tired

    Too bad better than 80% of those e-mails and documents will be blacked out! Its called controlled information! CNN wrote the book on it!

    January 14, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. TCM

    WOW...how fast the judge acted on this....too bad they couldn't act that fast on other important matters....like...oh...let's say birth certificates for presidential candidates....and when they do act on it, not to merely sweep it under the carpet to further their own liberal agenda.

    It's amazing how hypocritical dems are; after the treasonous act of supporting one of the most anti-American families that will occupy the White house......and you pukes are criticizing Bush? Just wait until the terror starts hitting in this country because of the waffle you've elected....

    January 14, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Joe

    I wonder how many law's governing the operations in the White House will be changed during Obama's administration. No way he will release his private emails, recordings, letters, etc... Further, when people yell foul he and many fellow Democrats will play the race card AGAIN saying that anyone who questions Obama's motives are racists. He already has violated the Constitution in his appointment of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State. He appointed a tax evader to the office of Secretary of the Treasury. Who's next? Dr Kevorkian as Surgeon General? Hey Obama! Why not just send a nuke straight up and let it come back down on the United States and kill us all now? Why make us suffer before you destroy this country? Do it fast, like pulling off a band-aid.

    January 14, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. HouseDiva

    Bush and Cheney should be investigated to the fullest extent!!!

    January 14, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Thomas

    More good use of our tax dollars to apease the psychotic partisan left.

    January 14, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Joyce in Indiana

    I wonder how many people know that the Bush administration used laptops provided by the RNC in attempt to circumvent the law requiring preservation of e-mail that deals with official government business. Why would they do this but to hide something?

    There can be no legitimate fear for national security because the records are to be released to the National Archives, not the New York Times. Anything truly a matter of security would have been redacted before release to the public. The only possible reason for a stunt like this is to withhold evidence from future generations.

    January 14, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Pog Mahon

    BTW Joe Kirby ~ just a guess ~ but by chance are you a plumber. ... with bald head ....kinda perpetual dumb stare ......slight grasp of the english langauge or reality for that matter?

    January 14, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. Terry B.

    Why would we be under the impression that they will follow this court order? Dubya and his administration has yet to follow the rule of law. They will simply get rid of them and if they are ever put under oath will use the tired "I don't recall" political get out of jail line....

    January 14, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |

    Rainbows and Unicorns for all on Jan. 20th.

    January 14, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Snake eyes



    January 14, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. lemmy youu vannn

    so now that we have a black president we are talking about all the e-mail , I think that the judge who issue the court order is trying to suck up to the new elected president and trying to suggest that there was some bad discrimination e-mail about black people that might damage the bush administration which is already damaged by the stupid action they been doing from the war on iraq to the war on gaza, I am sure that there are lots of damaging e-mails.
    thank you very much.

    January 14, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. richard

    Democrats are so hateful, 6 days till the death of America

    January 14, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Think for yourself, the first

    "this will be a non story in 8 hours"

    It was a non-story 8 hours before it was printed.

    January 14, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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