Issa to GM: “Cease Any Further Document Destruction”

Published: Jun 10, 2010

WASHINGTON. D.C. – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Domestic Policy Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim Jordan have sent a letter to General Motors Corporation (GM) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre requesting that GM “immediately cease any further document destruction.”

“As you know, General Motors is currently the subject of multiple investigations by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform…in light of these ongoing investigations, we are deeply disturbed to learn that GM is engaging in a continuous process of destroying document relevant to the Committee’s oversight efforts,” Issa and Jordan wrote.  “In light of the American taxpayers’ 61 percent ownership stake in GM and the Committee’s ongoing investigations, GM’s continued destruction of documents is unacceptable.”

In a recent interview with Committee staff, a senior GM attorney informed the Committee that GM’s company-wide “document retention policy” entailed the “purging” of all electronic documents after 60 days and that GM does not employ any backup system to retain copies of the electronic documents.

Issa and Jordan added, “Until such time as U.S. taxpayers have been divested of all financial interests in GM, we request that you immediately stop destroying documents and begin preserving all records and communications referring or relating to GM’s status as a taxpayer-owned company, its relationship or interaction with government officials, and any issue that could be relevant to public policy…this letter puts the company on notice that any further destruction of relevant material is evidence of criminal misconduct.  We would then have an obligation to report such conduct to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution.”