Rove Knows How to Cover His Tracks

Kevin Drum points to a fascinating update on the email trail at The Washington Monthly,

MISSING EMAILS UPDATE….Remember all those missing emails the White House told us about yesterday? Turns out the RNC does have copies on its servers. Whew. Apparently, back in 2004, as part of the Valerie Plame investigation, Patrick Fitzgerald told them to stop deleting emails.

So they did. Except, it turns out, for Karl Rove's emails, many of which are still missing. Now that's just plain peculiar, isn't it?

Fuller story at TMP Muckraker. It's really worth reading.

Update: And this canny comment from Josh Marshall,

I can say that I am very confident, very confident that … orders from Pat Fitzgerald were the reason for the change in White House policy in 2004. So the change in policy was tied to yet another criminal investigation of the White House. And the White House and the key employees in question — namely Karl Rove and people working for him at the White House political office — were specifically on notice not to destroy the emails they sent through the RNC servers. And yet they took affirmative steps to continuing destroying them, even after all of this had happened.

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4 Responses to Rove Knows How to Cover His Tracks

  1. Joe says:

    Blood in the water. The sharks are circling. Let me search the White House (I work a block away); I’ll find those backup tapes. Who is the RNC e-mail provider?

  2. Michael says:

    Maybe this one?


    Local company hosts GOP Internet sites

    posted: 08-22-2004

    By Andy Sher Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON — It’s more than 700 miles from Madison Square Garden, but that won’t stop Chattanooga from “hosting” next week’s Republican National Convention in New York City.

    Chattanooga based Smartech Corp. is serving as Web host for the convention, bringing the event to computer screens across the globe. The company will provide convention speeches, video-on-demand “streams” and live shots of events through powerful Web servers, most of which are at Smartech’s headquarters in downtown Chattanooga.

    “The world will view everything from Chattanooga; that’s the best way to think about it,” said Smartech founder and President Jeff Averbeck. “We’ll have one camera (in New York) that looks down from the ceiling on the podium, and then we’ll have several others placed around in strategic locations.”

    He said Smartech will put together a daily montage of video activities for viewing at Lee Rainie, executive direc- tor of the Pew Internet & American Life Project in Washington, said Smartech’s coverage of speeches will be important because television networks have reduced convention coverage from pervious years.

    “If I’m John Q. Voter and I just want to watch the speeches, the online universe or C-Span is the best way to go,” Mr. Rainie said. Democratic Party officials estimated they received more than 16 million hits on their convention Web site during the first 24 hours of the event last month in Boston.

    Mr. Averbeck said his company also is creating an Intranet service to provide transcripts and other material to news organizations at the New York convention site.

    Max Everett, the Republican National Convention’s director of information technology, said in a statement that “Smartech has been great for us so far.”

    “They’ve got a tight group that does their support, and they know how to do some coding of their own, so they are able to respond and customize more than your average Web host,” he said.

    In addition to its work at the convention, Smartech also sends out several million e-mail messages a day under contracts with both President Bush’s campaign and the Republican National Committee.

    The company also hosts the Bush-Cheney campaign Web site, at, and the national committee’s site, In the past year, the company has added six employees, bringing its total to 12. Smartech does not release revenue figures, but political work accounts for 25 percent to 35 percent of the company’s total business, Mr. Averbeck said.

    Mr. Rainie said Web sites have become increasingly important as a means of communications in political campaigns. Online fund-raising really began with Republican John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign but skyrocketed in 2003 and 2004 as a result of efforts by Democratic hopeful Howard Dean, he said.

    According to Pew figures, 63 percent of Americans are going online, and 49 percent have searched for news or information about politics or campaigns.

    “I’m not sure that the Internet will ever quite hold the same kind of audience that TV does,” Mr. Rainie said. “But it’s still important to say that for the way we talk about politics and for the way we perform politics in this country, the Internet is already well established as a vehicle.”

  3. Blue says:

    The White House says they lost some emails. They must have been in that bag with all the marbles.

    Just wait. The White House will say they found the emails, but they’re burried deep underground in Northern Alaska. The only way to retrieve them is by opening up ANWR to oil drilling.

    Just wait.

  4. global yokel says:

    My bet is that some BushCo flack is going to announce that the White House upgraded its entire computer infrastructure and all those emails disappeared with the machines that were scrapped.

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