House votes to preserve White House e-mails





From Rose Mary Woods' tape recordings in the Nixon White House to Karl Rove's e-mails during the Bush administration, congressional investigators and political historians are forever seeking records of White House communications, often against the wishes of the sitting president.

Hoping to boost their efforts, the Democratic-controlled House moved Wednesday to impose new rules to preserve e-mails from the White House and other federal agencies, acting in defiance of a veto threat from President Bush.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has said that White House e-mails transmitted over several hundred days between 2003 and 2005 also are unaccounted for, an assertion that the administration disputes.

"Some have said that this bill is about preserving history, and it is," said Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills). "But it also is about our constitutional responsibility for oversight and for holding this and any administration accountable."

Though problems have been acute under the Bush administration, Waxman said, other administrations, including that of former President Clinton, have run into problems preserving e-mails.




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