Lost E-mail in Missouri and at the White House
Investigators allege that Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt's office ordered state computer technicians to destroy copies of e-mail messages that might have been politically damaging, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jo Mannies first reported and The Kansas City Star's Kit Wagar reports today.
The lawsuit -- filed by an independent investigative team set up by Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon -- claims Blunt's office tried to arrange the destruction of backup computer tapes that routinely copy every e-mail on the governor's office computers several times a day. The goal was to block the release of e-mails to reporters, who were investigating political activities by Blunt's staff while on the state payroll, the lawsuit alleges.
In another e-mail archives matter, the Bush administration has been unable to find similar "disaster recovery files" for White House e-mails from a three-month time period in 2003, according to court documents filed this week, The Post's Dan Eggen reports today.
The White House has identified more than 400 computer backup tapes from March through September of 2003 that may have been lost. That period was a crucial time in the Bush presidency; the United States launched the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, and an end to major combat operations was declared on May 1.
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