Thursday :: Apr 12, 2007

Does Fitzgerald Know That Rove Was Deleting Evidence?

by Steve

It looks like the Patrick Fitzgerald investigation and the White House/RNC email mess crossed paths just before the 2004 election. Paul Kiel over at TPM Muckraker noted today the following, from a discussion Henry Waxman’s staff had with RNC General Counsel Rob Kelner:

Mr. Kelner said that as a result of unspecified legal inquiries, a "hold" was placed on this e-mail destruction policy for the accounts of White House officials in August 2004.
According to Mr. Kelner, although the hold started in August 2004, the RNC does not have any e-mails prior to 2005 for Mr. Rove. Mr. Kelner did not give any explanation for the e-mails missing from Mr. Rove's account, but he did acknowledge that one possible explanation is that Mr. Rove personally deleted his e-mails from the RNC server.
Mr. Kelner also explained that starting in 2005, the RNC began to treat Mr. Rove's emails in a special fashion. At some point in 2005, the RNC commenced an automatic archive policy for Mr. Rove, but not for any other White House officials. According to Mr. Kelner, this archive policy removed Mr. Rove's ability to personally delete his e-mails from the RNC server. Mr. Kelner did not provide many details about why this special policy was adopted for Mr. Rove. But he did indicate that one factor was the presence of investigative or discovery requests or other legal concerns. It was unclear from Mr. Kelner's briefing whether the special archiving policy for Mr. Rove was consistently in effect after 2005.

Josh noted earlier this afternoon that the likely “legal inquiries” that led to the RNC suspending its email destruction policy in August 2004 was the Fitzgerald investigation. And yet, we find out today from Kelner that Rove may have gone ahead and deleted his emails anyway until the RNC instituted a specific freeze on Rove’s ability to do so.

Does Patrick Fitzgerald know about this, and if so, why did he let Rove off the hook? And do you think Shooter and Scooter are smiling today?

Steve :: 4:36 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!