BUSTED! White House Suffers Loss in Email Case

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WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Monday ruled against the Bush administration in a court battle over the White House’s problem-plagued email system.

U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy said two private groups may pursue their case as they press the administration to recover millions of possibly missing electronic messages.

Judge Kennedy rejected the government’s request to throw out the lawsuits filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive.

The Bush administration had argued that the courts didn’t have the power to order the White House to retrieve any missing emails.

A document obtained by the Associated Press in August says the White House is missing as many as 225 days of email dating back to 2003.

The nine-page outline of the White House’s email problems invites companies to bid on a project to recover the missing electronic messages. The White House hasn’t said whether it has hired a contractor.

CREW executive director Melanie Sloan called the ruling “a clear victory for the American people. The Executive Office of the President does have to answer for the missing email.”

CREW and the National Security Archive are seeking a court order directing the archivist of the U.S. to ask that the attorney general initiate legal action under the Federal Records Act.

Copyright © 2008 Associated Press

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