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Government Agencies Push Back On Waxman Request For Rove’s Emails

Last month, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote letters to at least 24 government departments and agencies directing them to preserve e-mails received from or sent to non-governmental e-mail accounts (i.e. gwb43.com, georgewbush.com and rnchq.org) used by White House staffers.

Since both the RNC and the White House have said they did not preserve some of these communications from White House staffers, Waxman is attempting to acquire the emails through an alternative route.

The agencies pushed back on Waxman’s request:

Waxman’s Democratic staffers earlier sent out a letter demanding e-mails, but agencies reported back that the request was unclear.

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The Examiner obtained a new memo sent to federal agencies from Waxman’s committee which provides “additional guidance” for conducting a wide search for e-mails involving White House political adviser Karl Rove and other political aides:

“The search should include any e-mails received or sent by any covered agency official after January 20, 2001 and before April 12, 2007,” says the two-page memo, a copy of which was obtained Monday by The Examiner. […]

Its memo lists four types of “covered agency officials” — basically political appointees. It specifically mentions 15 people in whom the committee is particularly interested. They include Rove, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, and 13 other current and former White House aides.

“For each covered agency official, the search should include the official’s e-mail account, any archive of e-mail account including printed e-mails where appropriate, servers, and any backup tape or other backup media containing e-mails to or from the official,” the committee memo states.

Sen. Patrick Leahy has warned of further action if the lost messages are not found. “Those e-mails are there, they just don’t want to produce them. We’ll subpoena them if necessary.”