More than a decade has passed since Mitt Romney presided over the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, but the archival records from those games that were donated to the University of Utah to provide an unprecedented level of transparency about the historic event, remain off limits to the public. And some of the documents that may have shed the most light on Romney's stewardship of the Games were likely destroyed by Salt Lake Olympic officials, ABC News has learned.Romney had promised to be transparent:
In a February 3, 2000 speech at the National Press Club he said: "All of the documents inside our organization are available to the public. Simply submit a form saying which documents you want, for instance -- I want to see all the letters written by Mr. Romney to Mr. Samaranch. You'll get 'em all."But despite his pledge, he didn't deliver:
The archivists involved in preparing the documents for public review told ABC News that financial documents, contracts, appointment calendars, emails and correspondence are likely not included in the 1,100 boxes of Olympic records, and will not be part of the collection that will ultimately be made public.Apparently, Romney's operation never sent archivists any of that information. And now, they say, it has almost certainly been destroyed.
Obviously, this isn't the biggest deal in the world. Things like Romney's tax return secrecy and his destruction of email records from the governor's office in Massachusetts are much more troubling, but it is nonetheless part of a pattern of secrecy. And it's not just lack of transparency: it's that Romney made a big public promise to do something ... and then he didn't. He probably describes that as nothing but an asterisk, a legal technicality. But the rest of us call it a lie.