The undead body of Watergate still lumbers through Republican White Houses. And, it appears, it's a creature of habit.
Via Think Progress, we learn that Henry Waxman's House Oversight committee finds:
- The number of White House officials using RNC e-mail accounts isn't a "handful of officials" as claimed by Dana Perino in March. Nor the "50 over the course of the administration" as she later claimed. Rather, the committee has learned that nearly twice that number, at least 88 White House officials have been using the outside accounts.
- Karl Rove himself is responsible for sme 140,216 such e-mails -- at least those which have been preserved. Also accounting for a significant volume of such communications: former White House Director of Political Affairs Sara Taylor (66,018 e-mails) and Deputy Director of Political Affairs Scott Jennings (35,198 e-mails). Fully 75,374 were sent to or received from individuals using official ".gov" e-mail accounts. That's "official business" over questionably secure RNC servers, folks.
- Of the 88 officials identified as using such e-mail accounts, 51 of them have miraculously had their e-mail records disappear. Golly! Among the 37 officials for whom the RNC did preserve records, those records evidence "major gaps." For instance, despite the enormous volume of e-mails known to have been sent or received by Rove during certain periods, for others -- like the first term, for instance -- only some 130 e-mails are available.
- Finally, it appears that -- surprise! -- the White House Counsel's office under Alberto Gonazales was fully aware of the use of the RNC e-mail accounts, but took no action to preserve them as required under the Presidential Records Act.
All of which is no surprise, when you consider the Bush White House's motto, "The Rule of Law Sucks."