Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another Bad Day for AG Gonzales (Or "The RNC Ate My Homework")

I had been wondering what had happened to the congressional investigation into the RNC email accounts that had begun in the midst of the US. Attorney purge. Yesterday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released this interim report (pdf). Some of the highlights:
  • The Committee concluded that considerably more White House officials had received RNC email accounts than the White House had previously disclosed. White House spokesperson Dana Perino initially reported that there were only a "handful" of these accounts, and later clarified that there may have been as many as 50. The Oversight Committee found that there were at least 88.
  • Karl Rove made extensive use of his RNC account, sending or receiving 140,216 emails. He and others used these accounts for official purposes, in violation of White House policy--and, more importantly, in violation of the Presidential Records Act, which requires the President to "take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented and that such records are maintained as Presidential records." 44 U.S.C. § 2203(a).
  • Susan Ralston, former special assistant to the President, was deposed on May 10, 2007. She testified (pdf) that the White House Counsel's Office (at that time run by none other than Alberto Gonzales) received RNC emails as part of its investigations into the Energy Task Force in 2001 and the leak of Valerie Plame's identity. According to the Oversight Committee, "if her testimony is accurate, former White House Counsel Gonzales may have been aware in 2001 that Mr. Rove was using RNC e-mail accounts for official communications. Yet is was not until six years later that the White House" instructed the RNC to preserve the emails in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.
Could this be the end for the Attorney General, or another miraculous display of his survival skills? Stay tuned ...

1 comment:

Joe said...

I would be surprised at this point that anything short of impeachment would get rid of Gonzales. I guess the Bush administration finds it more useful to have a punching-bag than a functional attorney general...