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Conyers and Sanchez Send the RNC a Request for Emails, Advise Against Obstructing the Investigation

Brian Zick

Jesse Lee at The Gavel reports: In addition to Chairman Waxman’s separate letter to Attorney General Gonzales, Chairman John Conyers and Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sánchez have sent a letter to the Republican National Committee requesting they deliver, by next week, emails and any other documents relating to the U.S. Attorney matter. Conyers and Sanchez write: Mr. Robert M. Duncan Chairman Republican National Committee 310 First Street, SE Washington, DC 20003 Dear Mr. Duncan: We are writing to request prompt delivery to the House Judiciary Committee of all e-mail communications and all meta-data underlying them, stored on Republican National Committee (“RNC”) servers or otherwise in the possession, custody, or control of the RNC, that are related in any way to the recent firings by the Department of Justice of United States Attorneys, or to communications to the Congress about those terminations and related matters as set forth in this letter. Recent briefings to us by both the White House and the RNC, as well as press reports that White House staff may have not only misused RNC e-mail accounts for official government business, but also deleted or lost some e-mails that were required by law to be maintained, have raised serious concerns that cause us to write you with some urgency. These revelations follow a recent rash of resignations by high-level officials at the Department of Justice, including one who is asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and admissions of misstatements to Congress relating to the U.S. Attorney firings. These developments further heighten concerns regarding possible improper politicization of the Department of Justice, including possible interference with the impartial administration of the federal criminal justice system in matters involving alleged political corruption. (…) We also request any other types of records of communications involving any current or former White House official involving any of these matters that are in the possession, custody, or control of the RNC or any of its affiliated entities. And in light of reports that some of the e-mails may have been deleted, we also request any information in the possession, custody, or control of the RNC or any of its affiliated entities, electronic or otherwise, including meta-data, that might indicate when and for what periods any of those e-mails were deleted, or who may have been involved in deleting them. To the extent that you take the position that deleted e-mails cannot be retrieved, we must insist that, at the very least, technical experts working with us have the opportunity to question and work with RNC personnel to seek such recovery. We understand that the White House has asked you for all e-mails by or to White House officials that are stored on or retrievable from RNC servers. Our request is narrower, specifically limited to e-mail and other records relating to the U.S. Attorney matters we are investigating, as described above. Particularly as these e-mails have already gone outside the confines of official White House communications channels, we would ask that, whatever you may be doing to respond to the White House request, you treat our request as separate and provide the materials we have requested directly to us, as quickly as possible, rather than diverting them into a White House review of the larger set of e-mails and thereby delaying our receipt of them. One of your counsel suggested at a recent briefing that you are considering the latter course. We would consider that to be an unjustified delay in responding to our request and potentially as an obstruction of our investigation, and we urge you not to follow that course.

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