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April 11, 2007


It is a trial balloon, I think. For one thing, the White House wouldn't be the ones in control of those emails -- if they were using the RNC's mail servers, then the RNC would have them and not the White House at all.

When are these doofusses going to learn that very little is ever really lost if it has gone through the Internet. Or maybe I should say, the things you want to find are lost -- but the things you don't are never lost.

One more word of warning to anyone planning "the dog ate my email" as an out -- at some point it is likely not to be true believers trained as Christipublican soldiers doing the testifying, but techies who are not going to throw themselves under a bus by either committing perjury or trying to convince the Congress or court that they don't know how email servers work. And all it takes is one for the entire thing to unravel.

If the folks at the RNC have any brains at all, they'd also better figure out that Waxman and Leahy are going to be in town a lot longer than the current residents of the White House. The right wing will not hold.

This is such a joke. This is so transparently bogus. I can only imagine that the e-mails have some seriously juicy and illegal/unethical stuff in them.

This must have already been floated before, so forgive me for asking: but is there any indication that Fitz knew about the RNC e-mail system? Assuming Fitz didn't know about the RNC e-mails, might he be able to re-visit his Plame investigation on the basis of these disclosures?

And as long as I'm a bit OT and in Plame land: in one of the liveblog threads during the trial, either you (EW) or Jane vaguely hinted that there were indications that Fitz's investigation wasn't over. When pressed, you or Jane said no more could be said because the hunch was sort of based on courthouse personnel or something. Does this ring a bell with you? And if so, can you elaborate? (Or am I pulling a Libby-like memory out of my arse?)

I just left a phone message for waxman. his staff needs to get to the nsa backups every isp HAS to keep, by patriot act requirement or some such. BY LAW they have to keep two years of that stuff, and probably longer.

How appropriate if their own "illegal" surveillance system brings them down!

(The chuckling noise in the background is the ghost of andrew butterfield...)

Even if WH did not have control of those servers, the messages passed through the WH firewalls onto the public network. They left tracks in logfiles they never considered.

Trial balloon. The cheney is neither omnipresent nor omniscient. Can they continue to sacrifice scooters to prolong their criminal enterprise? Something like this ends in no less than obstruction...

Man, I love that I have so many computer geek readers. Makes me feel like I'm eating dinner with my own family again.

Jim E.

First, I called Randy Samborn to see if he'd comment about the discovere 250 emails. I gave him an out to say, "it's grand jury information, so I can't say one way or another." Which is what I thought he'd say. Instead, he said, "there's nothing public, so I can't say." Take that for what you will.

Second, there were comments dropped that said there would be good news, there might be something more. Those happened about three weeks into teh trial. Nothing ever came of them, and I beleive Fitz when he said he'd only go forward if he got more information. I think he laid some foundation in the trial, but it has yet to be seen whether he'll ever get to use it.

Scandal nickname: DogAte.

I'm playing The Doors "The End" and practicing my kung fu.

Unfortunately, I think this may well be essentially the end of the line. There will be some fuming and fulminating, but unless the Congress is willing to effect some arrests, it's all over but the shouting.

I'm sure there'll be some harsh words in the committee report, though. Yowza! Look out!

Iran-Contrafication, here we come.

You're nuts Kagro. THere is NO WAY this is the end--this is when the Republicans with any hope of a political career start getting VERY uncomfortable. And there really is no way they've destroyed all these emails. That's only possible if Rove and Jennings did nothing but speak to each other. And at some point, criminal obstruction would go into effect--Waxman told them to retain emails going back (IIRC) 3 weeks. And there has been a whole lot of discussion since--all that stuff, if it's gone, is clearly obstruction.

Red flag #1: "The White House said..." Really? Does the building talk?

Red flag #2: Who the hell is "spokesman Scott Stanzel"? Is he the spokesman for the White House or for the GOP/RNC?

I can't figure out who's saying what in this article. Is Scott Stanzel a White House spokesman who was the source for this entire piece? Or is he the spokesman for the GOP/RNC? If he's the former, how does he know what he's talking about? The GOP/RNC servers shouldn't be in the White House, so how does he know that e-mails were lost? If he's the latter, then who is speaking on behalf of "the White House"? Why doesn't this person have a name?

You can't float a trial balloon with this many holes in it.

Bonus question: Why was the auto-delete policy changed in 2004? Could it be because of a special prosecutor's investigation going on at that time? If they changed the system so that Karl's e-mails wouldn't be auto-deleted, why was there a back door where people could go in and erase their e-mails themselves?

I don't think they're destroyed. I just think we're not getting them. At least not for a long, long, long time.

So, how do you get someone in the unitary executive charged with obstruction of justice? They won't be making the Fitzgerald mistake again.

I normally agree with you on that, Kagro, you know that. But this is just bozo-land. Now perhaps we should regard this balloon as brilliace incarnate--such a bizarre announcement of the 18.5 minutes that no one reports it as news.

But if and when it becomes news, every time someone like Orrin Hatch (no relation to the amendment) gets up and says this was all very proper and it's just really unfortunate that they lost all the email, people are just going to laugh at them, to their faces. Even the old biddies who really DO lose their email like this will laugh. So when Orrin Hatch can no longer protect their hindside (UT is, after all, a relatively tech heavy state, or was before Novell and WordPerfect died), what then?

Same thing as they're doing now. Just don't give anything to the committee. Waxman thinks he can fix this in court, and by the time he finds out it's not going to work the way he thinks, it's campaign season again, and suddenly we need to "focus our energy" again.

And my dog ate my homework. It's term paper time. We get a lot of these this time of year.

Agree with Marcy. This is the start of the end game for the loathesomes. They just opened a door that one can drive a mobile home through.

This feels something like the Cox firing by Nixon. I don't think it's the end.

It shouldn't be the end. But it's a gut check. And I don't think we're ready. And if we're not, there'll be no reason for Republicans to be.

Suppose the Republicans do a complete 180 right now. What does that mean? In what endeavor do they join us? What do they demand of the White House? And what means do they use to enforce it?

Kagro X--There's going to be a new sherriff in town in January of 2009. Maybe Bush is going to issue several hundred pardons on his way out the door, but I doubt it. They can't stall forever. And all these people who are trying to "run out the clock" on the statute of limitations for various crimes are obstructing justice RIGHT NOW in doing so. Some of these people are semi-competent lawyers who understand this. If you're a bit player in all of this, and you haven't done anything illegal yet, what would you do? Tell the truth, or commit a felony by obstructing justice? Keep in mind that Scooter Libby just got fried, and he was the Veep's right-hand man. If you're a little fish here, do you really want to risk it? Because in two years, you may have to answer to Attorney General Patrick Fitzgerald.

The projection I am encountering with the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House of Reprsentatives battling Secret Service Agents over hard drives doesn't offer much solace.

That's a long time to sustain political will in the face of consistent stonewalling and accusations of partisan witch hunts.

A long, long time. Political will doesn't hold much truck with logic or justice.

Wait, I'm confused. Isn't admitting that you've lost the e-mails pretty much straight-up proof of a Hatch Act violation? What am I missing here?

On the “loss” of the email data by the Administration, I posted the following in a discussion at both FDL and Kevin Drum’s site, I think it is applicable here and am interested in having the holes pointed out (yes I know there are some):

“Today the Bush Administration admitted it had destroyed computer evidence that was legally required to be maintained. Forensic computer experts consistently state that, with the right effort, just about anything can be recovered from a hard drive. Even when things cannot be recovered, there are traces, bits, pieces, etc. there that, at a minimum, indicate the previous existence of the items and their characteristics. If this is really true, and it sure appears to be, then the clear cut violation of the Presidential Records Act serves as an unassailable predicate for the seizure of the appropriate computers and hard drives from the Administration. They should be so seized and analyzed; they will either show evidence that confirms the emails and documents in question were there and erased, including WHEN they were erased, or alternatively it will result in a finding that hard drives were replaced with clean ones in an attempt to obstruct justice (and an attendant conspiracy case that would boggle the mind). Substantive criminal evidence results either way, and the public is entitled to the discovery of that evidence. There is no legitimate basis for the Administration to refuse this either; the predicate crime has been directly admitted by them already, and this places the matter beyond executive privilege under Nixon v. US. This is simply not politics anymore, that canard is over; this is criminal behavior that strikes at the heart of our democracy, open and accountable government. The time has come to investigate and prosecute; end of story.

i wonder why they didn't wait til friday to dump this story

This is the point where the entire Republican Party really does become a RICO enterprise and not just the Rico enterprise we know it is.

I think those rankly filed Republicans from newly enthroned (now ex) Monica Goodling types to the old hand hacks (Mehlmaaaan!) better start thinking hard about where they want to spend their retirements.

And take their lawyers' advice about how best to realize their dreams.

I think that there is something to both the KX and the EW arguments.

KX is definitely correct about short attention spans and counter spin about witch hunts. Also, the possiblity of stalling.

But on EW's side there is the war. A lot of people, even people who do not often pay attention, want justice brought to the WH door. I suspect that the public will be more patient about alleged partisan investigations than usual.

Still, Waxman, Conyers, etc. will need to be dogged and clever to keep the story alive.

My best guess is that there is more value in pushing ahead than KX allows himself to hope. The reason is the little people.

As someone above mentioned, any obstruction of justice will require the participation of lawyers, computer geeks, etc. The longer the Dems push, the more the little people must attend to. At some point, one of the little people might get scared and turn.

we'll see, I guess


so who's going to bell the cat?

who's going to legally and physically force the white house or the rnc to produce?

they are weak


they are bluffing madly,

but there needs to be some sort of wolf to blow the house down.

who's the wolf?

who's the sheriff?

where's the bailiff?

where are the mind-clearing consequences?

Why do you think that I've talked about the Cheney Office Philippino Spy Caper? If I was FBI, or security investigating who had copied and printed documents from which computers, I'd have taken every single machine in that office from the veep's to the secretaries', removed the hard drives and bagged them as "evidence", and put duplicate replacements back into the machines so that the users wouldn't even know that a different drive was installed.

If you are building a case against a spy, you need to prove that somebody accessed a beastie with the proper password and follow their digital fingerprints, and you'd need to preserve the physical evidence. As I've said here before, If Fitzgerald needed proof of whether everything was turned over or properly archived or improperly destroyed, getting his mitt's on those hard drives would be a good start.

Companies that go bankrupt or simply upgrade machines will auction off their old beasties. They think that reformatting cleans them. Hah! Anybody who has gone to a tech show such as MacWorld has seen the booths manned by document-recovery folks. Even a computer which has gone through a fire and is half-melted will yield some data to the experts.

Archeologists will tell you that the hardest thing to destroy is a hole. Once the substrate is disturbed, it cannot be put back. Once data is written on a drive, there is always a trace of that disturbance.

I'm not a software expert, preferring to attack computers with screwdrivers when they sick up, but as a game developer I had to learn something about security and disposal.

We have hopes that policy wonks in the WH never had to take a beastie apart and wouldn't recognize a naked hard drive in its native habitat. Waxman's staff obviously has a couple of people who understand how data is manipulated and stored... and retrieved. :)

I think paulo's right, and that RNC know it and are hoping no one notices; it comes down to whether there's anything out there that undermines the Hatch Act story (ya think?). That could be why this strange statement came from WH. But as I said yesterday, the cutting loose might be a little late.

The chances of a full-blown RICO case against RNC practically are very small so far, I would think, but just the odor of it must have them breathing very shallow.

The thing that impresses me here is that the WH seems to be changing their tack. This 'trial ballon' seems to be the end of arguing that congress has no right to see the e-mails.

I think almost any bullshit legal or 'seperation of powers' argument would have held much longer in the court of public opinion. Where this is so obviously convienient, such obvious obstruction, so simply absurd that it won't pass the smell test with anyone.

On the surface this seems like a bad move, but Karl must be cutting some anticipated move off at the pass. Perhaps he figured it better to lay this out there now, before it became glaringly clear that they had nowhere else to hide.

The battle over the corruption of the DOJ is the long war. BushCo never quits, they just change the rules.

Maybe they'll offer up more 30 something fall guys and stonewall to the bitter end. If they give up smoking gun evidence, it'll implicate the 30 something fall guy. They'll withold the stuff that damns senior officials. Its better to take the obstructiuon charge. The Judiciary Committees have them on the run but thay're pretty good on the run.

Next Tuesday, what will Gonzalez be questioned about? How many times will he say "I don't know, I don't recall." Will he claim the Constituion does not assert the right of habeas corpus just to annoy Leahy? Will Specter agree? I can't wait until next Tuesday.

Who else had to look up the word "gunch"? The urban dictionary definitions were a bit of a shock.


'Hey, NSA guy! Here's a wonderful opportunity to get even with the guys at the WH!' (or words to that effect).

I'm sure that there are traces of those e-mails in places that the WH and the RNC can't control. And possibly ones they can't get at, either. The headers alone should be very interesting evidence, and they won't have disappeared from everyplace they've been.

I don't think they'd lose all the backups either. For one thing, the IT people would have a cow at the idea; for another, you can't take out just the emails from those backups. AFAIK.

I can almost guarantee those emails are somewhere reasonably convenient. Even if they were deleted from the servers, these places have have tape backups, keep them off-site, AND test them on a regular basis.

Pesos to beignets the rules and laws governing this practice are publicly available somewhere.

Congress has a perfectly legitimate reason to ask for the emails from these non-government servers. They have an ongoing investigation. They have solid evidence that these servers were used for communications that are pertinent to their investigation. There’s a clear law about the preservation of a paper trail for the Executive Branch. These servers can’t possibly be covered by Executive Priviledge.

So now the Administration/RNC is stalling, bargaining, obfuscating, etc. No big surprise. Either they’ve got the emails [damning], or they’ve partially destroyed the emails [also damning], or they’ve destroyed them all [damned damning]. There’s really no way to spin their way out of this without taking a hit. So they are taking whichever of these three options is true and brainstorming how to play it to make it look innocent - which is really impossible. They’re going to have to play it to minimize the damage - barely possible.

Monica Goodling and Kyle Sampson were just the first rats to jump ship. I’d guess that Karl Rove’s emails have been destroyed, and they’re working on making him blameless for their destruction. But another possibility is that this came up too fast for them to react safely without shades of Ollie North and Fawn Hall shredding as fast as they could in the Iran-Contra days. They may be stuck with trying to keep them in hiding [or away from the geeks] - shades of Nixon’s White House Tapes.

Crocodile, go tick, tick, tick...

I worked in IT in a large private loaw firm for many years. When email began to surface as key evidence in clients' civil suits, law firms themselves began to review their own electronic archiving policy.

Our policy was limited to how IT handled electronic file backups and archiving, not how lawyers were expected to handle their own electronic files. Some attornies are hopeless pack rats: They save EVERYTHING and sometimes twice; sent mail folder and a hard copy print out in a physical chrono file. Its an understandable obsession, they need to be able to lay their hands on everything that goes out with their names on it.

We decided to backup the email message store in full daily on a twenty-eight day rotating backup tape schedule. That meant the oldest backup (snapshot) of the complete message store on the server was four weeks old. Of course, users will keep a lot of their received mail (inbox and personal folders) and sent email (sent mail folder) forever, so if they've kept it, it remains in the message store and of course on the backups. If they delete it, when twenty-eight days have passed, its will be on none of the backup tapes.

People rareley take the time to delete their sent mail. It lives in a single folder and would take time to decide what to delete and what to save. Deleted items can also live in the person's deleted items folder unless its set to purge on exiting outlook. All the emails produced in the docuemnts are formatted like they were printed using outlook client as the mail reader.

Very few businesses are willing to set a policy where "old" email is purged automatically from users' mailboxes (in the message store on the server) or from personal message stores (.PSTs) which can live on their Laptop's or PC's hard drive. The PST can also live on any mapped drive on the server, such as /User/KRove/KRove.pst

Other files on the server were backed up at least monthly and kept for three years or indefinetly.

Certain flies like general ledgers and accouting system files are kept for up to seven.

This is becoming more and more like the Rove-Plame-Wilson hysteria with the final empty results there.

It would seem like if there were all these Easter eggs with crime indicating emails hidden on the White House and GOP landscape, at least one would be found already. But none have. No copy from a disgruntled employee or snitch. Nothing.

I expect more empty results.

Am picturing Abu laying on the couch of his office, stoned on malomar bars as his handlers pace back and forth, trying to figure out the talking points on this twist for next weeks' hearings. And since the sure truism of the Bush WH is that whatever they give up, daylight will prove is 10x worse, I'm thinkin those emails must be outright doozies.

Jodi, Libby was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case. He lied to obstruct the investigation and it worked. His sentencing hearing is coming up. Maybe you want to write a letter to the judge and ask for leniency. what would you say?

Please allow me to be the first to ingore Jodi.

Could they have let their guard down on GWB43.COM assuming it was untouchable? I don't believe it... well... maybe.


did I mention Libby? I said Rove-Plame-Wilson.

Libby was just collateral damage. It is sad for him but he wasn't what the blood lusting hysteria was for.

"Karl's hard drive?' I love it when you talk dirty, EmptyWheel.

This is the story through the 2008 elections.

Okay techies, I've got to ask. Here we go. First we must all realize that the RNC system set up for these assistants was almost certainly configured to miminize the creation of achives. They thought of that - probably was the main objective.

So Sue sends an e-mail from her special laptop to jane at the RNC and copies Bob's secret laptop (bob's out of town)

Obviously this message can be erased from the two laptops and the desktop at RNC, but clearly the message passes through a White House router. But if the e-mail system is at RNC, certainly they can clear that archive away. Just like when I use hotmail. The message is actually stored at Microsoft. So here's my dumb question, Where else would have the message? Does Time Warner have a copy of e-mails I send through their cable, even though I don't use my roadrunner e-mail account.

It just seems to me that the whole reason the WH used the RNC addresses was so they could control archiving. I'm am aware of ghosting and the difficulty of truly erasing a message, but is there a archiving location in the route that Rove and company would not have control of that may be able to deliver the whole package.

Jodi, save yourself the keystrokes next time and just say "Rove." Holding up the list of "Rove-Plame-Wilson" and clucking that since only Libby was convicted, the list you provided is 0 for 3 is -- well, I suspect you knew how stupid it was when you typed it.

How about "Rove-Mother Theresa-Gandhi-Jesus-Howdy Doody?" That's 0 for 5!

Jodi--did you read about the Libby trial? Two reporters said in open court that Rove betrayed Plame's identity to them. That's not "nothing".


Are you so ideologically blinded as not to recognize that it is hardly empty results to establish that Karl Rove lied blatantly and unquestionably to the American people about his own role in blowing Plame's cover? As Libby's defense said

See, Rove had lied. Rove did talk to Novak. Rove lied.

This is why Libby

told the Vice President, I thought it was unfair that McClellan had said something about Rove and not something about me, since I didn't talk to Novak either.

Rove was a source for Novak's original column outing PLame publicly, and he volunteered information more extensively, apparently, to Matt Cooper, the second journalist to write about Wilson and his wife. I think it is valuable - not an empty result - to have learned that, and to have learned that Rove lied to the American people when he lied to Scott McClellan as McClellan went out to report to the American people about the matter.

With luck, this might be something of a perfect storm on the political front versus Bush.

The Duke lacrosse issue illustrates vividly the need for honest and competent prosecutors.

GOP talking points about serving at the pleasure of the President wilt in the light of the Duke prosecutorial abuse, as well as the Lam/Foggo situation, the tobacco case, the Wisconsin political trial reversal, and the Michigan attorney voluntary demotions (not to mention that Gonzales has been doing a bad and sloppy job or lying and the White House is visibly working overtime to help him lie and conceal).

Looking more like Watergate by the day.

Interesting interview with Eisner from WaPo on the Niger Documents

WaPo buried the lede:

One White House lawyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under the ground rules of the briefing, said staffers are now being advised that if they have any questions about whether an e-mail is political or official, they should use their private accounts but preserve a copy for review by White House lawyers to see whether it needs to be saved under the Presidential Records Act.

(my emphasis)

So the new policy is 'if in doubt, leave it out'. And there's a rationale, since the Hatch Act has specific punishments -- you get fired -- and the Presidential Records Act doesn't. It sort of relies upon the preznit and his staff not sending the archives into the bitbucket. But if that happens, and there's any evidence of deliberate avoidance of the retention system, I'd say it's impeachable.

But for the WH to admit to utter fucking incompetence makes me sure that the backchannel stinks to high heaven. And Waxman, having just trampled Bush's attempt to tweak the Presidential Records Act, is not going to take this lightly. I emailed the committee suggesting he join with Conyers in demanding images of Rove and Jennings's hard drives.

I also get the sense -- from the specificity of Conyers' requests -- that he or his staff have surreptitious access to stuff we've not yet seen, or that they know exactly what they're looking for. Or know exactly what to ask for so that its failure to arrive tells its own story.

I think they're just trying this to see what kind of response they get.

Yep. And it's time to prod Leahy, Conyers and Waxman to ensure that 'oops! my bad!' from the WH-RNC email continuum doesn't cut it.

it's as if they've got half the incriminating emails destroyed, but are doubtful they've destroyed everything, so they're telling this story in hopes of buying time.

We only know about Scott Jennings's emails because they were included verbatim at the bottom of replies. Email's funny that way, especially if you top-post (bad netiquette, but good for Congressional investigators). We've not seen anything originating from non-.gov servers. I think they're trying to check the entire .gov archive to ensure that any 'cross-contamination' from non-.gov addresses doesn't show up in .gov messages.

For one thing, the White House wouldn't be the ones in control of those emails -- if they were using the RNC's mail servers, then the RNC would have them and not the White House at all.

If Rove/Jennings/etc used Outlook or similar, copies would be in the local Sent Mail folders of their computers, or on a network share, or whatever. If they used webmail, then it would be harder to trace. Judging from talk of the RNC server techs routinely deleting email, I'd suspect they ran POP3 drops to fetch mail rather than IMAP. Webmail? I dunno.

I'm sure that there are traces of those e-mails in places that the WH and the RNC can't control.

I'm sure there are traces of them in places they don't even know exist. And that's not a welcome thought. This needs to highlighted as gross disregard for national security.

Why do these fuckers have security clearances when they're sending emails in the clear to outside servers?

Ooh, the LA Times has more:

The White House briefing today occurred hours after the staff of Waxman's committee and staff of the House Judiciary Committee met with White House officials to discuss the e-mails.

The White House has informed congressional investigators that it will not be able to meet the committee's deadline of Friday to turn over the communications.

The House aides are expected to meet with the Republican National Committee's legal staff today. A committee spokesman said the GOP hopes to cooperate as much as possible but provided no further details.

Between the lines: Conyers and Waxman, not happy bunnies.

Secondly, the White House will begin the forensic process of trying to reconstruct any lost records. That includes talking with the Republican National Committee about its policies of deleting records and exploring whether the hard drives of laptop computers in the White House might have preserved a record of e-mailed communications.

Between the lines: 'make sure it's really lost.'

And it also mentions just who, as White House counsel, was responsible for setting up the email system and providing guidance on its proper use.

Alfred Kelgarries: "The chuckling noise in the background is the ghost of andrew butterfield..."

I think you mean Alexander P. Butterfield, who is still alive. But maybe he can still have a metaphorical ghost.

Josh Marshall momentarily dries his crocodile tears over the WH/RNC server troubles to tie together the shameful twin purges: U.S. attorneys and voters.

The tie-in with the US Attorney story is that the White House and the Republican National Committee have used the power of the Department of Justice to accomplish those three goals [concerning voter supression] …

Who's running all this? Who's put it all in motion. Look at the documents that have already been released. It's been run out of Karl Rove's office at the White House.

Using material help from the RNC. Of course,

Section 1519. Destruction, Alteration, Or Falsification Of Records In Federal Investigations And Bankruptcy

from US Code 18 is not available under RICO. Still.

Prostratedragon - I have been trying to figure some some creative vehicle for RICO action. such as a civil RICO claim by a plaintiff with standing, such as Iglesias. Likely the only defendant that would be judgment attachable is the RNC, but you might could get at Rove on a personal iiability basis. Sovereign immunity a problem with the government entities and actors. Pretty weak effort on my part so far, but there has got to be some way to chip away at these clucks from an additional, but complimentary, tangent in addition to the Congressional investigation.

Who else had to look up the word "gunch"? The urban dictionary definitions were a bit of a shock.


i didn't know ' gunch ' had ' dirty ' connotations - we always used the word as in ' gunch it ' ( referring to mashing the accelerator / gas pedal / throttle ).

Man, I love that I have so many computer geek readers. Makes me feel like I'm eating dinner with my own family again.

Must have been some great dinners @ your house, Marcy.

BTW, I don't think we Next Hurrah devotees would be upset if you used some of the site's vast "retained earnings" to hire those family geeks to work on this issue.


Note the apology at the top of the page. This page was saving other minor changes while I was typing "ch" on another page. So I would have had to look up gunch myself.

I seem to remember that back in '04 there was the big hoopla over lawsuit involving Blackberry-thus talk of it being shut down. Those RNC Blackberrys might have been at least traded in temporarily as I can't imagine Rove without a plan or a Blackberry at hand.

At TalkLeft the suggestion is a subpoena duces tecum of the server[s]. (They used the singular; I'm going for all of them.) But the backups should also be collected and gone over, as far back as possible.

Great post EW.

I've been dying to respond to all this, but day job issues have been keeping me running around this morning.

It's time for a special prosecutor (if they want recommendations, I'll suggest an undistinguished US Attorney, initials PF).

Until, Conyers needs to subpoena the servers at the RNC's hosting company. The subpoena needs to include all email servers, Blackberry Enterprise servers, database servers, web servers and file servers. All on-site and off-site backup media will be needed. In addition, all the disaster recovery and operational documentation should be included. The technical staff needs to subpoenaed (and I really feel sorry for those guys). This is unfortunately going to put a big dent in the companies operations, especially if any of those machines are shared with other clients.

Conyers also needs to subpoena all the RNC issued laptops and mobile devices. WH Staff need to turn those over (with all their passwords) now. Everybody needs to on notice that any deletions of files would be considered obstruction of justice.

Marshall is saying that the WH and RNC share the same server

I feel really bad about the server problems the White House/RNC seems (no, not a typo -- they appear to be a single entity) to be having on the email front.
TPM 4/11/07


That's not what he's saying. He's saying that the RNC and the White House are one entity. We know where the RNC server is (Tennessee) and where the WH server is (D.C.)

"This is a remarkable admission that raises serious legal and security issues. The White House has an obligation to disclose all the information it has." -Henry Waxman

I think we need a cheer for Henry Waxman fighting the good fight for truth and the American way. Anybody know his nickname?

"This is a remarkable admission that raises serious legal and security issues. The White House has an obligation to disclose all the information it has." -Henry Waxman

I think we need a cheer for Henry Waxman fighting the good fight for truth and the American way. Anybody know his nickname?

from TPM - The 'lost' RNC emails story deserves and will get a lot of attention. But tomorrow's Times has another story that will probably generate less heat but is closer to the core of what the Purge story is about. Since President Bush came into office, the Justice Department has made 'voter fraud' prosecutions a high priority. Yet, not for lack of effort, they've barely been able to find any examples of it. The grand effort has boiled down to a program to send a few handfuls folks -- mainly black -- to jail for what are in almost every case notional or unintentional voting infractions. LINK

Thanks William Ockham, I read it through again and you are right.

Neil, about Waxman's nickname, I've seen him referred to as Hammerin' Hank before but don't know if that was just a one time thing.

Alex, So would cries of Hank! approximate the now legendary cries of Fitz! and Emptywheel! that became frequent during the CIA leak case investigation?

As long as people don't lead off every comment thread with it (that always bugged me for some reason), I'm all for it.

Maybe I missed it in the thread above, but is it true that RNC issued Blackberrys would necessarily be routed through WH servers if used on site, or would they go through some satelite in the sky? Also, if Gonzales falls, what are the odds that a chastened WH will support the appointment of AG Fitzgerald? (yes, laughing)

Don't panic! In my book you are someone special. Nothing you type or mistype would change that. I don't feel that way because you went to the college on the hill or played rugby or enjoyed Wednesday night tap, although you and Fitz have those things in common (as well as my respect.) It's not just because you're such a good analyst either. Its because of your values, how you use your abilities, and that the truth is so important to you. I bet if I asked around we'd find many many many others who'd agree.

damn straight

Alex (D - No),

RNC Blackberrys would definitely not be routed through the White House servers. Messages from a Blackberry are transmitted over radio waves (typically over cellular data networks) to some wired connection point. They then travel to the RIM Network Operations Center in Ottawa. The NOC forwards them to the Blackberry Enterprise Server connected to the RNC email server. From there they go out like any email.

[This is the simplest case. There are lots of variations.]

Thanks William. "They then travel to the RIM Network Operations Center in Ottawa." I'm going to go out on a limb and predict this DogAte business is all prelude to a preemptive strike on Canada...

Speaking from experience as a Systems Admin for a number of companies and Law offices, unless the RNC is suicidal, it is common IT practice to keep ongoing (nightly) , rotating backups of all server data. The "rotation" means there are ALWAYS at least TWO (2) full, up to date backup tapes available in case of disaster. MORE IMPORTANTLY- ONE BACKUP COPY IS STORED OFF-SITE (someone's house or safe) in case the whole place goes up in flames, etc.
ALSO- almost without exception, any complete backup set (sufficient to restore the server(s) and get back to business as quickly as possible ARE INCREMENTAL BACKUPS. This is important, because it means that ALL EMAILS (even if deleted every 30 ndays) STILL EXIST IN THE BACKUP SETS! THEY CANNOT BE DELETED FROM THE BACKUPS THEMSELVES.

So- it's a good bet that all the emails ARE TOTALLY INTACT (probably in 2 or more locations) and subject to subpena.
If someone knows Pat Leahy, you might forward this to him.

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