Judge Allows Private Group to Quiz White House Techs

Unusual move advances missing email probe
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2008 1:05 PM CST
In this Friday, March 16, 2007, file photo, former CIA analyst Valerie Plame listens to opening statements on Capitol Hill during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. During the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As part of the investigation of millions of missing White House emails, a private group can examine the records of the office charged with preserving communications, a federal judge ruled yesterday. The judge made it clear that letting any private group look into White House affairs was highly unusual and the group would have access to only a "very limited" amount of information, the AP reports.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington will have 45 days to gather information to help determine how much autonomy the Office of Administration has from President Bush. If it's found to be independent, the judge will likely allow the group to seek further data about what went wrong with the White House email system.