WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A White House claim that its Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act is "disingenuous," a watchdog group in Washington says.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed suit against the U.S. government looking for documents on the disappearance of about 5 million White House e-mails between 2003 and 2005. The administration says the disappearance was caused by a computer glitch.
The Justice Department claims the Office of Administration is not subject to FOIA, even though the White House Web site says it is.
"The newly minted argument that the Office of Administration is not an agency is akin to the vice president's declaration that he is not a part of the executive branch," Melanie Sloan -- executive director of CREW, said in a statement Wednesday. "One has to wonder if this is an effort by the White House to keep secret the details of how millions of White House e-mails suddenly went missing."
Sloan said the office's "disingenuous claim that it is not subject to the FOIA is contradicted by its own actions and statements."
"On the White House's own Web site, the OA is designated as one of the few components in the Executive Office of the President subject to the FOIA," said Sloan.