CREW Sues White House Office of Administration Over Refusal to Respond to FOIA on Missing Emails
Washington, D.C. – This week, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued the Office of Administration (OA), a component of the Executive Office of the President (EOP). CREW has also requested a preliminary injunction to compel the OA to respond to a CREW Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
On April 12, 2007, CREW released its report, Without a Trace, based on information from two confidential sources, which disclosed the startling revelation that the White House “lost” over five million emails generated between March 2003 and October 2005.
CREW’s suit is based on a FOIA request filed with the OA on March 29, 2007 for records regarding the over five million missing emails. Although on April 27, 2007, the OA agreed to expedite CREW’s FOIA request, the OA has yet to provide CREW with so much as a single document.
According to confidential sources, the OA created documents that detail the exact dates for which the over five million emails are missing and that analyzed the scope of the problem. CREW has learned that there is also a political assessment of the harm to public perception of the White House if it became known so many emails had disappeared. In addition, the requested documents include plans CREW was told were presented almost two years ago to restore the missing emails, but were never acted on.
Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW said today, “This White House has decided to play an unlawful game of high-tech hide and seek with the American public. Thus far, CREW has learned that the Administration has both lost five million White House emails and pro-actively tried to cover up the loss. CREW has sued the Office of Administration to shine a spotlight on these reckless and possibly illegal activities and to restore these records for the benefit of future generations.”
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact David Merchant at 202.408.5565 or email@example.com