White House Pressed on Admission of Frequent Backdoor E-mails with ‘Longstanding Relationships’ (i.e. Lobbyists, Campaign Contributors, Former Employers, etc.)

August 3, 2012
WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa today sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew requesting information about who at the White House is using personal e-mail accounts to conduct official business.  The request for information follows comments by former White House staff member and current Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter, who said White House staff, “for our longstanding relationships, they often use those personal email addresses.”

“This statement – that White House staff ‘often’ use private e-mail accounts for official government business – raises the concern that records as defined by the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and the Federal Records Act (FRA) are only being captured by official government e-mail archiving systems to the extent that they are being forwarded to official accounts,” Issa wrote today to Lew.  “The American people have a right to know that White House staff and federal officials are conducting the business of the government transparently and in accordance with record-keeping statutes.”

The letter notes that the White House admission follows a pattern of non-official e-mail use Oversight Committee investigations have found at the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and other federal agencies.  It asks the White House to provide a list of White House officials who have used private e-mail accounts for official purposes, instances of improper use, and any written guidance offered to White House staff about the proper use of private e-mail accounts by August 17.

Click here for a copy of the letter to White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew.