“The White House said Wednesday it had mishandled Republican Party-sponsored e-mail accounts used by nearly two dozen presidential aides, resulting in the loss of an undetermined number of e-mails concerning official White House business.”
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel “could not say what had been lost, and said the White House is working to recover as many as they can. The White House has now shut off employees’ ability to delete e-mails on the separate accounts, and is briefing staffers on how to better make determinations about when — and when not — to use them, Stanzel said.”
UPDATE: The Politico has more details:
This is a big problem for the White House, and Waxman said it raised ‘serious legal and security concerns’ about the e-mail related activities of Bush administration aides.
Waxman’s staff are supposed to meet with RNC officials on Thursday about the “rnchq” and “gwb.43” e-mail accounts, which some White House officials, like Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, use for authorized political work. Waxman suspects that White House aides were using the accounts to evade presidential record-keeping requirements.
The Politico also reports that the White House held a private briefing on the situation for some reporters, who relayed the message, “it’s really bad for the White House.”