473 Days of White House Emails Missing

Millions of messages may have been lost and federal law ignored
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2008 3:53 AM CST
An internal White House study found that for Bush's executive office, no e-mails were archived on 12 separate days between December 2003 and February 2004. A private group suing the Bush administration...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – An internal White House study found that  email messages weren't archived for hundreds of days between 2003 and 2005, the Washington Post reports. The disclosure follows the White House admission that administrators recycled back-up tapes for the first three years of Bush's presidency, possibly losing millions of emails during a time that included vital communication leading up to the war in Iraq.

A White House source said there were also many more days when the volume of emails archived was unusually low. The situation has triggered an increasing number of questions about lost White House emails, which the law requires be preserved for posterity. A private group suing the Bush administration claims "critical and highly relevant evidence may have been destroyed."