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. Kip D. Fisher


    "Exactly what rights have you lost? Be specific. For all you liberals, that means no hazy, spurilous, vitriolic comments. Give me one fact if you can"

    How about the right to privacy, remember the PATRIOT ACT? That document basically stripped away half our constitutional rights, all under the guise of "national security". How about the right to a fair and speedy trial, or the right to due process, or the right not to be questioned without legal representation?

    The last 3 things have only applied to the foreign fighters being held in Gitmo, but could have easily applied to anybody that the government deemed a "terrorist", or "enemy of the state". I personally hope that President Obama and the Congress overturn the PATRIOT ACT within the first 30 days.

    January 14, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  2. Ex-Republican

    @LB January 14th, 2009 6:17 pm ET
    You asked for facts: Here they are:
    1) Civil Liberties/Constitution completely destroyed with the Patriot Act
    2) Two wars, no victory
    3) Two Towers, it only took 4 planes to bring them down
    4) Osama Bin Laden still alive
    5) Al Quaeda, many say stronger then ever
    6) World Image, destroyed
    7) Military Strength, reduced
    8) National Debt quadrupled, from what used to be a surplus
    9) Unemployment worse now, then when Bush was in office
    10) Education system worse
    11) Health Care worse
    12) Torture
    13) WMD's, not found
    14) Economy in Ruins
    15) Housing market in a free fall
    16) Keeping us safe, NOT....ever watch the clip of two towers being destroyed as he reads a kindergarden book? His watch, His failure

    So why don't you tell US something, just SOMETHING, ANYTHING for that matter, that he did. NOTHING got better with him, everything he touched, is worse now, then it was then. He was an absolute failure.

    January 14, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Pete

    Umm...what exactly do you think they will find? Say they find out Bush is responsible for every single thing you conspiracy theorists are posting here. What do you honestly think is going to happen to him? Nothing right? He's a president whether you cry babies like it or not which means he can basically do whatever he wants. I'm from Chicago. I'm used to this level of corruption. I just don't get why you ride the coat tails of Obama so hard when he is no better. Doesn't matter which president gets into the office. Every single one is corrupt and can't change anything in the US. Cry all you want about Bush did this, or Obama is going to do that. Nothing changes. Voting doesn't matter. The economy can't be fixed by presidents and the bailouts are a mistake. Everything adjusts. Let it be.

    January 14, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. linda from South Dakota

    this is good and well as long as bush or anyone esle doesnt "bleep" some emails,,mmmm this could get very interesting ,, ya think???

    January 14, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |

    Yeah, like these crooks and thieves are going to start following the law now, when they only have 6 days of being above it left?

    As if.

    January 14, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. David Clark

    The American failed to do what the iraqis dead by bringing Saddam to Justice, This man brough shame to our country. He is responsible for the death of over 4000 Soldiers, 30,000 injured and 9-11 as well and the death of over half a million iraqis and we list count of the injured. Brought us to most secretive excutive branch that answers to no body. The Americans need to learn a lesson from the iraqis and bring this man and his cronies to justice

    January 14, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. David Clark

    Comes January 21st, one must bring him to Justice

    January 14, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. LB

    ""- it was BUSH who handed out all the money to the banks and auto industry. What have we seen for that generosity? NOTHING! ""

    What exactly are WE supposed to see? I didn't buy one of those crap cars on purpose, but now OUR government is haning them the money anyways. ANd it is true that OBAMA cannot wait to hand them more! He is trying to get it done before he is in office!

    January 14, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. honestly

    obviously, we are impatient for change.

    January 14, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  10. luckyb

    Bush is the reason abortion is legal....He should have been washed down the drain 61 years ago....Or she could have hooked him with a coat hanger and save the world from this A.s.s.h.o.l.e..

    January 14, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. Nakita

    Yeah, Bush handed the banks and auto companies a blank check. He was AGREEING with the democrats. Did you forget that he took their side this time???

    January 14, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  12. Bea

    these guys consider themselves above the law.......only God can judge them.

    January 14, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  13. Texas Teacher

    Anthony Ravenell January 14th, 2009 6:03 pm ET

    We all know that the Bush administration had done illegal acts. We don't need another lengthy fact finding mission only to find them guilty. President Bush knows that his legacy is tainted and history not the courts has judged him as a failure despite what he thinks about himself. Let him go to Texas and be remembered as the "Worst President In Our Nation's History".

    ANTHONY RAVENELL.... LET HIM BE IMPEACHED! 🙁 Then I will be happy!

    January 14, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  14. Texas Teacher


    It was real and it was fun... but it was NOT REAL FUN... or we would be laughing instead of crying!

    January 14, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  15. RSL

    "Executive privilege" means never having to say you're sorry. Don't let the delete key hit you on the way out, Mr. President.

    January 14, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  16. JK

    As a liberal, I love watching bickering between the two-sides. As you can see below, the GOP will argue with highfalutin verbiage and hazy words, and the Dems will come back with facts. Every time.

    Just an observation.

    January 14, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  17. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    Chaney is going to do what he wants any way. He seems incapable of recognizing that there is a line separating right from wrong, truth from falsehood, and common decency from that which is so uncouth.

    January 14, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  18. Ernie in LA

    I'm sure that Obama will leave some interesting emails as well.

    January 14, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  19. Chris

    This is just yet another attempt by the bitter far leftists to try and dig up dirt and trump up false charges against President Bush. It amazes me how many of the far left can't get over the 2000 and 2004 elctions. There would never be a court order to get President Clinton's emails and there was an impeachment trial.

    January 14, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  20. Juan Grain

    Darn, I wished iwould have gotten that notice before I pressed delete 😉

    January 14, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  21. Benton Indianapolis, In

    i hope that he does delete these emails and just tossed in jail. i know what they can do with the jail in cuba once and the detainies are gone, put bush and all his people down there and treat them the way that the prisoners were treated. talk about getting a taste of his own medicne

    January 14, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  22. allen

    This a waste of time and money... Bush and Cheney certainly were not perfect and made mistakes and errors. They made bad decisions but if you looked at all the politicians included the Clintons and Obama you could dig deep up enough to hang them all. Lets not keep wasting time and money and effort for revenge. Remember everyone including congress both democrats and republicans supported the war to begin with and only when things went wrong did anyone start complaining.. I for one want a government that will protect me. If we can save one American life then I think we do what we have to. I want a president that is for America not the rest of the world and I do not care how other countries think of America.

    January 14, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  23. Dawn Mears

    Hi Mr. Mears. Great story. Are we related. I live in Chas. SC?
    write back to me if you will.

    January 14, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  24. Danny Corrigan

    It seems the Republicans should be calling for investigations of Bush after he leaves office most of all. If Repub politicans and their supporters call for investigations, they will have a leg to stand on should they feel Obama is going to do something that needs investigation. After the lack of investigations for torture, cooked intelligence, screwed up war and the war and hurricaine profiteering, I can't imagine what Obama would have to do to warrant an investigation.
    In addition, Repubs have to go after BUSH if they have ANY HOPE of coaxing some Independents to vote Republican. They voted against the man the Repubs want to protect. You are showing them they are either wrong, or that Repubs don't believe in accountability for Repubs. Could extend your stay in the desert a couple of decades.

    January 14, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. Charlize

    Those emails should be thoroughly investigated, to find out how he and Cheney have unlawfully profited from the Iraq war, and use it to bring them to justice. If his own country doesn't have the guts to prosecute him, then the world should, for crimes against the humanity. The invasion of Iraq has no justification whatsoever. All those people killed and maimed are his fault only, and he just gets two shoes thrown at him, and even missing its target? What s lucky S.O.B.!

    January 14, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
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