Emanuel Used Private Email Account To Contact Holder
“Using private addresses in the White House can be a big no-no. When Karl Rove and other Bushies were caught routinely using accounts supplied by the Republican National Committee to conduct the people's business, it sparked a congressional inquiry.”
By Dell Hill via Gawker
“Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel used his private Gmail account to communicate with Attorney General Eric Holder during his time in the White House, according to the results of Freedom of Information Act request we filed. Though the Department of Justice has acknowledged just one email exchange with Holder using Emanuel's unofficial address, the disclosure raises questions about whether Emanuel may have sought to skirt the Presidential Records Act by conducting government business using Gmail rather than his White House address.
Emanuel, you may recall, was one of the many victims of the massive iPad data leak that disclosed the private email addresses of tens of thousands of movers and shakers in June 2010. Having been privy to his Gmail address, last year we filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act with a variety of federal agencies looking to see if he ever used it to talk to Administration officials—a tactic that the Bush White House perfected as a way to keep email communications off the historical record and out of the hands of prying congressional investigators.
White House Refuses To Release Email
From Rahm’s GMail Account
And according to the Justice Department, Emanuel did just that—but only once, and allegedly for personal reasons. "We located one document, totaling one page, consisting of a personal record of Attorney General Holder," the DOJ wrote in response to our request for emails from Emanuel's Gmail address.
"Specifically, the document consists of an e-mail exchange concerning a purely personal matter." The DOJ contends that, since the exchange is a "personal record" of Holder's, it isn't subject to the FOIA and refused to release it.
Using private addresses in the White House can be a big no-no. When Karl Rove and other Bushies were caught routinely using accounts supplied by the Republican National Committee to conduct the people's business, it sparked a congressional inquiry. In May 2010, the White House reprimanded deputy chief technology officer Andrew McLaughlin for using his Gmail account for official communications. The Presidential Records Act requires all White House records to be systematically preserved and archived, so using private addresses can introduce huge gaps into the system and violate the law—unless the users conscientiously forward all such emails to their official accounts.”
By simply declaring any and all such communiques as “private”, the administration can stonewall any investigation by refusing to comply with subpoenaed documents. That’s exactly what’s happening here and changes need to be made to close that loophole.