Does anyone see the gaping holes in the search terms Richard Hertling used to find emails related to Karl Rove?
In response to your subpoena, the Department's Office of Information and Privacy (OIP) conducted e-mail searches in both the Offices of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General. The time period covered by the search was November 1,2004, through May 2,2007. OIP identified a total of sixteen custodians whose available e-mail archives were searched in response to this subpoena. Those individuals had served in the following positions during the relevant time period: Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, and White House Liaison in the Office of the Attorney General, and Deputy Attorney General, Principal Deputy Attorney General, and Chief of Staff in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. The search terms used were designed to capture any variation of an e-mail address that may have been used by Karl Rove. Specifically, the terms were: Rove, Karl, kr, gwb43.com, georgewbush.com, and rnchq.org. Both the "from" and "to" fields were searched in current and archived e-mail accounts. The "to" field captured "cc's." In addition, the current Chief of Staff to the Attorney General, and the Interim Chief of Staff who assumed that position after Kyle Sampson left, were both asked whether they had ever communicated with Karl Rove and both advised that they had not.
Three things I see.
First, Monica Goodling didn't move to OAG until Fall 2005. So for an entire year of this search period, her emails were not searched. Yet we know she had already been involved in hiring and firing by that point.
Second, here's how they describe what was included in their emails:
Both the "from" and "to" fields were searched in current and archived e-mail accounts. The "to" field captured "cc's."
No mention of whether to "to" field included "bcc's," yet we know there are a number of instances where a member of the clique forwards an email to themself and presumably, in the process, bcc's someone.
And finally, this:
In addition, the current Chief of Staff to the Attorney General, and the Interim Chief of Staff who assumed that position after Kyle Sampson left, were both asked whether they had ever communicated with Karl Rove
Chuck Rosenberg, the Interim Chief of Staff, is a straight shooter (he was Comey's Deputy that called and got Comey's men to head of Gonzales at the hospital pass). I'm not sure about Kevin O'Connor (who never seemed very interested in Joe Lieberman's $300,000 slush fund). The point is, though, the only people they asked about communicating with Karl Rove were people we don't suspect of communicating with Karl Rove. Why not ask Mike Elston or Bill Mercer? They're still around (and, for this entire period, Mercer had two DOJ emails, one of which wasn't searched).
All perfectly designed not to find anything incriminating.