WASHINGTON — The White House official singled out by a House
committee for wrong-doing in the Project X e-mail fiasco was the one
official who consistently lobbied higher-ups to fix the problem, memos
obtained by WorldNetDaily reveal.
The House Government Reform Committee last month sent the Justice
Department a criminal referral for perjury against White House Computer
Specialist Daniel “Tony” Barry. It’s been turned over to the
campaign-finance task force for review, a Justice spokesman says.
Panel chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., asked Justice to prosecute Barry
for allegedly lying in a 1999 sworn statement. He claims Barry falsely
certified that White House e-mail had been properly archived, when it
In fact, the White House failed to record — and search under
subpoena requests — more than 1 million e-mails and attached documents
sent to at least 526 staffers, including President Clinton and his top
aides, as well as to at least 200 staffers whose first names start with
the letter “D.” The gaps span a period from August 1996 to May 1999.
What’s worse, nearly all e-mail to and from Vice President Al Gore
and at least 24 of his staffers has been omitted from archives.
High-level White House officials have known they had, at minimum, an
isolated e-mail records-keeping problem as early as January 1998. And
they’ve known of a systemic problem since June 1998, when Northrop
Grumman computer contractors diagnosed it and alerted them.
Yet they elected not to tell Congress, Justice, a federal court or
the Office of Independent Counsel about the yawning gap in records –
even though the investigative bodies had subpoenaed the White House for
e-mail relevant to their various probes of White House scandals.
Major news about Project X broke two months ago after a former White
House official and non-government computer technicians blew the whistle
in court affidavits.
But Burton may have put the wrong White House official on the hook
for the mushrooming scandal.
If there was one official who didn’t cover up the gap, it was Barry,
internal White House memos show.
He repeatedly sounded alarms over the problem — namely the failure
of the White House computerized archiving system, known as ARMS, to
capture e-mail coming into the critical “Mail2″ server used by Clinton
and other West Wing officials.
“This is a followup to our discussions on Tuesday regarding ‘the
mail2 problem’ or project X,” Barry began an Aug. 13, 1998, memo to Jim
Wright, one of his superiors in the White House Office of
“As far as I can tell, there is no movement under way to fix the
problem and recover the lost records from the backup tapes,” Barry
continued. “I feel that the records must be recreated and any searches
need to be reperformed if the requestors feel it is necessary.
“This seems like a daunting proposition but I do not see any other
alternative,” Barry said. “I feel that I cannot walk away from this
He closed by saying: “I appologize[sic] for the rambling nature of
this memo but I hope it captures my concerns and frustration level.”
In a Sept. 10, 1998, memo to Wright and Kathy Gallant, another Office
of Administration official, Barry wrote: “I am growing increasingly
concearned[sic] about the seeming lack of movement on the Mail2
“Do you know where the hold up is.[sic] We have known about this
problem for 4 months now and not a single record has passed to ARMS,”
Barry complained. “[E]ven
worse, the root problem has not been fixed.”
Then a clearly frustrated Barry, who was the computer expert in
charge of White House records projects, followed up with another memo on
Sept. 25, 1998.
“It has been about 2 week[sic] since I sent my last ‘concerned memo’
regarding the mail2 problem and I am still not seeing any movement on
fixing the problem,” he wrote to Wright and Gallant. “I need to know,
for my own sanity, exactly what my role in this project should be.”
In December 1998, Barry even came up with a cost proposal for fixing
the problem. “Mail2 reconstruction (Project X) … 99 cost … 650,000
… 2000 cost … 1,000,000,” read a line item that Barry typed in a
spreadsheet that included cost estimates for other projects.
It apparently went over like a lead balloon.
Barry was ordered by the Office of Administration’s budget department
to “remove the ‘project X’ designation” from the spreadsheet.
By March 1999, Barry was still nagging his supervisors about e-mail
“It has come to my attention that when the ‘bleeding’ was stopped on
MAIL2 in November 1998, ALL the bleeding may NOT have been stopped,” he
wrote in a March 18, 1999, memo to Office of Administration Project
Manager Devere Patton and other officials.
“I have spoken with [Northrop Grumman e-mail administrator] John
Spriggs and it appears as though at least one account, MILLENNIUM [a
possible Y2K-related account], may still have the problem,” Barry added.
“I believe NG [Northrop Grumman] should
be instructed to investigate.”
White House records obtained by WorldNetDaily show that Barry also
fired off “trouble reports” regarding e-mail archiving on Feb. 1, 1999;
Feb. 9, 1999; Feb. 11, 1999; and again on May 5, 1999.
Hero of Project X?
It was Barry, moreover, who first stumbled on the archiving problem
– long before the Northrop Grumman workers.
In January 1998, while conducting a keyword search of ARMS in
response to a subpoena request, Barry noticed that some incoming e-mails
to one White House account were missing.
He had Spriggs check the log of the firewall system, which screens
Internet messages for viruses. Sure enough, outside e-mail got through
the fire wall to the Mail2 server but never made it to the ARMS scan
bucket, where incoming and outgoing, as well as internal White House,
e-mail is stored on the VAX mainframe for easy searching.
Barry documented his findings in an incident report and sent it to
the White House lawyers who feed him search requests.
Records show Barry was on top of another previously undisclosed
e-mail anomaly in early 1997.
In a March 4, 1997, memo to Charles Benjamin, Laura Crabtree Callahan
and other Office of Administration officials, Barry asked for advice on
a problem involving “10,000+ lost E-mail records.” Whose e-mail was lost
is not clear from the memo.
Perjury or parsing?
Burton asserts that Barry filed a false declaration assuring a federal
judge there was no problem with the White House e-mail system.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, hearing a $90 million Filegate
lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch Inc., wanted to know more about White House
efforts to turn over e-mail under subpoena in the case.
Judicial Watch Chairman Larry Klayman also said that Barry “submitted
a false affidavit claiming that there was no e-mail problem.”
Actually, Barry didn’t go that far in his July 9, 1999, statement,
which he signed under “penalty of perjury.”
He said, “Since July 14, 1994, e-mail with the EOP [Executive Office
of the President] system administered by the Office of Administration
has been archived in the EOP Automated Records Management System
He didn’t say there was “no problem.” Nor did he say all
e-mail has been archived.
Still, Barry misled the court, Burton says, by omitting any mention
of Project X from his statement.
“That’s perjury,” Burton said.
Is it? The law is not so black and white.
The sections of Title 18 of the U.S. Code that cover perjury do not
expressly say omitting facts is a punishable offense.
But Sec. 1621 states that anyone who in a “declaration or statement
under penalty of perjury willfully subscribes as true any material
matter which he does not believe to be true, is guilty of perjury.”
Then there’s Sec. 1001 that says it’s a felony for anyone to provide
to a court a statement that “falsifies, conceals or covers up by any
trick, scheme or device a material fact.”
Perjury carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.
Calls to Barry’s White House office were not returned.
Justice says the perjury referral is in the hands of the
campaign-finance task force, which is trying to grab control of the
e-mail probe from a federal court hearing lawsuits against the White
“It’s been forwarded to the task force for their review,” Justice
Department spokesman Myron Marlin told WorldNetDaily.
Klayman posits that Burton is really just trying to squeeze Barry in
the hopes he’ll finger political operatives above him.
“He may be making him walk the plank,” Klayman said.
Indeed, Burton has said that lawyers at the White House and Justice
may have coached Barry in writing his misleading, if not perjurious,
A June 8, 1998, memo from Barry to Wright and Gallant reveals that
Justice lawyer Jim Gilligan and White House lawyer Sally Paxton had
asked Barry to “set aside Tuesday and Wed[sic] as preparation days” for
his deposition in the Filegate suit.