Monday, March 26, 2007

As documents continue to get dumped as a result of investigations into purge-gate, it has become increasingly clear that large amounts of Bush administration business has been (and likely is still being) done via e-mail accounts hosted outside of the official servers.

For instance, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Political Director (in other words, Karl Rove’s deputy) Scott Jennings used “” to conduct correspondence with recently repurposed DoJ chief of staff Kyle Sampson (specifically about putting a Rove protégé into a US attorney’s slot recently purged open). is owned by the Republican National Committee.

Karl Rove, who is reported to do 95% of his e-mailing using RNC accounts, is suspected of having a gwb43 address; he is known to have a address. is owned by Bush-Cheney ’04, Inc. It is also said that Rove “prefers” his RNC-issued BlackBerry. . . “for convenience.”

So all of this has got me to thinking:

If Rove (or anyone else, for that matter) forwards executive office e-mails to his RNC account. . . for convenience. . . would the forwards show up on a subpoena of White House e-mails?

Additionally, the administration is refusing to turn over internal White House-to-White House e-mails, but an e-mail forwarded to an RNC account is, by definition, instantly not internal.

Further, as Alexis Simendinger of the National Journal (quoted by WaPo’s Dan Froomkin) notes,

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove may have forfeited potential claims of executive privilege over the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys if he communicated about the latter outside the White House e-mail system, using his Republican National Committee e-mail account or RNC equipment.

Ah, but that’s not all. The way I see it, If Rove (or Bush, or Cheney, or their staffs) is using for official business, then it is a violation of the Presidential Records Act. But (or, should I say, “And”?), if Rove (or Bush, or Cheney, or their staffs) is doing political, party, campaign, or fundraising business through an RNC server, but is using a computer or mobile device inside the White House or the OEOB, or if anyone is using an mobile device for party business anywhere, then it is a violation of federal elections law.

Quite an interesting conundrum (or, perhaps I should say, conundrums), don’t you think?


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