GOP Hinders Search for Missing White House Emails
Anyone could change messages in 'primitive' system, expert testifies
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2008 4:44 AM CST
President Bush in the East Room of the White House. Officials say more than a million e-mails sent on the White House network have been lost. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The GOP National Committee is now refusing to search for and turn over backup tapes of thousands of missing White House emails, reports the Washington Post. The move is a reversal of a previous commitment to retrieve thousands of up to a million messages that vanished in a 1000-day period. A tech manager told a House committee yesterday that the email system used by President Bush's staff was so primitive that until 2005 emails could be modified by anyone on the network.

The Republicans' refusal to help retrieve messages will mean a "potentially enormous gap in the historical record, including the buildup to the Iraq war, said the House committee chairman. A spokesman for the RNC said the organization "is fully compliant with the spirit and the letter of the law." The Bush administration has acknowledged that many  White House officials routinely used RNC accounts for government business,