Congress going after White House e-mail

April 9, 2007 at 11:33 AM

WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- Congressional investigators demanded access to e-mail sent from White House laptop computers provided by the Republican National Committee.

The RNC computers were provided so top White House aides could communicate on political matters, but The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that congressional investigators said e-mail has surfaced relating to official government business, including the firings last year of eight U.S attorneys.

U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, requested access to many of the messages sent from the domain, which Waxman's staff traced to the RNC computer system.

Waxman said in a letter to RNC Chairman Mike Duncan that content of the e-mail "indicated that in some instances White House officials were using nongovernment accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of communications" that could be reviewed by Congress or be public under the Presidential Records Act.

Lawyers for the committees told the Times that e-mail sent using the RNC e-mail domains may be easier for Congress to gather since they would harder for the White House to shield with executive privilege.

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