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. Dave G

    This reminds me of the missing watergate tapes. Maybe the Bush administration will provide transcripts of the missing emails...

    January 14, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Lori

    Remember, Stalin killed 12 million of his own people and died of old age. Nothing will happen to bush and cheney. I won't even capitalize their names.

    January 14, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Derrick, Atlanta

    It's amazing to see the comments of some of the people here trying to turn this on Obama and the man isn't even in office. Please, how does this have anything to do with Obama. This was the Bush administration to you guys how are making these comments. My goodness.

    January 14, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. James

    Gee, I sure hope that Harry Reid has a threatening letter ready for this occasion.

    January 14, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    And knowing how quick this administration is to follow the law, those e-mails will be long gone before anybody realizes it.

    The Bush Administration started wiping its bottom with the Constitution from the day it entered the White House and hasn't stopped since. What makes anybody think this crowd will suddenly "get religion" and follow a judicial order? This is the same crowd that thumbed its nose at the Valerie Plame scandal and basically told all of us to get over it!!!

    And personal to Terry in Lakeland, FL:

    When does YOUR Commander-In-Chief stand up and accept responsibility for his actions and those of his administration?! Oh, that's right, I forgot, you're the right-wing and that never happens!!!

    January 14, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Anubis

    thomas seeing that the psychotic left pay taxes too they have a right to ask for an investigation and the judge had enough info to warrent as such...

    i love how ppl on the right talk as if they are the only one who pay taxes...get a clue and get off your high horse...no wonder you guys lose elections.

    January 14, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. wendyintx

    Just 'cause a judge ordered it, doesn't mean Bush and Cheney has to listen. They are above the law..you betchya..

    January 14, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Mike

    Wait Bush did that? I thought the facts said he didn't, ya that's right you left wing nuts only listen to the other left wing nuts.

    No left wing nut here. If you belive that Bush and/or Cheney had nothing to do with outing Plame then you're as naive as a newborn baby.

    January 14, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. Uncle S.A.M.

    Bush Administration, I don't think Attorney General-designate Eric Holder are going to let you guys get off that easy. Now is the time to panic. Bring in the burn bags and the heavy duty shredders.

    January 14, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Glenda, IL

    Good, the whole place was corrupt. Some of the people sent George Bush there to do a job, not butcher the Constitution.

    January 14, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. Bill in California

    The question from Mike Philly bemused me enough to answer his heartfelt concern about accountability and justice.
    Believe it or not, like it or not we will ALL of us be held accountable and justice WILL be served. Not by your standards, not by my standards but by the ONE who has set the standards.
    I will gladly trace the Bushes footsteps to that seat of judgement. Can you say the same thing of your new found "Messiah" who's top priorities include killing human life in the womb and ensuring that gays can thrust their lifestyle upon those who want to avoid it in the military and elsewhere.

    January 14, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Sean the thinker


    I agree !!! This was a GOOD use of our tax dollars.The American people deserve to have a government thats transparent and accountable.

    Whether this court ruling appeases the psychotic partisan left is a moot point.

    January 14, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Simpliticus

    Can't catch me if you don't know the details! Ever since Watergate, Cheney and others always knew that too many details regarding the goings on would spell death to any administration desiring to get around the Constitution. And it was that aim to hide any and all transactions, even e-mails. So it is nice that this might be around so as to uncover the detritus under the rocks left behind by this administration. This might even be better than the Nixon tapes!

    January 14, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. RIck

    There's only one reason to show reluctance to handing over emails or any other documentation:

    You are hiding something. Plain and simple.

    January 14, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Mac

    True, that unfortunately none of this will result in criminal indictments. However its important to uncover the smoking guns in those files for posterity so the Bush-apologists can't substantiate their revisionist history.

    January 14, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Meka

    It would be interesting to view the Emails after 9/11. Bush Administration was told "NO WMD in IRAQ" . . . BUSH insist the information he received, was misleading. Bush, just like ALL American's, got the REPORT from the INSPECTOR'S--NO WMD IN IRAQ !!!

    January 14, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. vjunior

    Here we go again. What about the Clintons, why weren't they investigated? Or how about Obama proving his citizenship. No judge gave the order on that despite how important it is. Oh wait, he finally did produce one way, WAY after the fact.

    This is getting way out of hand. The left will realize this soon, VERY soon. 6 days come to think of it.

    January 14, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. Get over it

    The judge would have to be a "Kennedy".

    Let's make sure tha Obama's ALL get preserved as well. And NO Blackberry.

    January 14, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Matt: honestly

    TCM it is pretty funny how you have had your head in the sand for the last 8 years, and the entire election season. Have you not heard??? Obama's birth certificate was presented ages ago!!! As far as him being anti-American?? How do you figure? He is the American dream! He worked his way up from nothing, all the way to the top spot in the country. You are obviously a fool.

    January 14, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Matt

    You guys are totally mistsaken. Cheney didn't shred anything cuz if he stands too close to the shredder, it causes his pacemaker to go all crazy.

    January 14, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Barry, IN

    I just want to punch George W. Bush in the face, but then I remember my grandmother raised me right.

    January 14, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Matt

    @ TCM

    I just know The Boss is gonna bust out "Born in the USA" at the inauguration just for you whacky birth-certificate conspiracy theorists. Keep clinging to it...I'm sure 9 out of 10 psychiatrists would agree it's a healthy fixation.

    January 14, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. P. Y.

    Whoops ! Too late ! They were all deleted a long time ago.

    What makes anybody believe that this man and his croonies would do anything that they are told to do. Never will happen !

    January 14, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |

    Go to jail Bush and take your hate mongering right wingers with you.

    January 14, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. don antonio

    You can all go to hell... I'm going to Texas ! – signed...Another great American

    January 14, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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