WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s campaign-finance task force has yet to quiz key White House officials in its months-long
probe of possible obstruction of justice and witness intimidation in the Project X e-mail case, a House committee revealed today.
Also, a new memo shows that Justice learned about a gaping hole in Vice President Al Gore’s e-mail records in the spring of 1999, if
Yet, Attorney General Janet Reno didn’t start an investigation until this year. Nor did she inform Congress or the independent
counsel, both of which have outstanding subpoenas for Gore’s e-mail.
Dan Burton, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, fired off a blistering letter to Reno accusing her of stalling for
presidential hopeful Gore.
“It leads to the more-than-reasonable conclusion that you are moving slowly on matters that involve the vice president,” wrote
Burton, R-Ind., in his June 28 letter to Reno.
Some 18 weeks ago, when the Project X story broke, Justice asked a federal court to block Judicial Watch from searching for missing
e-mail under subpoena as part of its Filegate lawsuit.
Justice argued that it would interfere with its ongoing criminal investigation. U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth agreed, and
declined to take custody of e-mail back-up tapes and hard-drive cartridges from the White House.
In light of Justice’s inaction, it’s now plain that Lamberth’s decision was ill-advised, asserts Judicial Watch Chairman Larry
“The Justice Department’s e-mail investigation was a sham from the start. They committed a fraud on the court,” Klayman told
WorldNetDaily. “Their petition was designed to delay our search and push the whole e-mail scandal past the election.”
Klayman says he’ll use the latest findings to lobby Lamberth again to seize the White House tapes and conduct an independent search.
A court hearing is set for Friday.
“They lied to the judge yet again,” he fumed. “The question for the court now is, how many times can it be lied to?”
Congress is also probing Project X. The mushrooming scandal involves charges that the White House covered up the missing e-mails
once they were discovered, by threatening employees and withholding subpoenaed information from Hill panels probing Chinagate and
other White House scandals.
Burton, in his six-page letter to Reno, demanded to know why her task force hasn’t questioned John Podesta, Virginia Apuzzo,
Michelle Peterson, Sally Paxton, Joe Vasta, Jim DeWire, Dorothy Cleal, Nell Doering, Cheryl Mills and other “important” White House
“The failure to move swiftly on the e-mail matter can only be seen as an extension of failures in the campaign-finance
investigation,” Burton said.
White House computer technicians say they were threatened with jail if they talked about gaps in mainly West Wing e-mail under
A White House computer-records manager recently said an aide to Vice President Al Gore told him to “get lost” when he tried to help
archive Gore’s e-mail, as required by law. None of Gore’s e-mail has been properly archived, either, and at least 13 months worth is
Justice task force chief Robert Conrad has asked Gore about the gaps in his e-mail records. In April 18 testimony, Gore swore he
first found out about them from “recent news stories.”
He also says he never talked about the problem with Podesta, then-deputy White House chief of staff, who knew about it at least as
early as June 1998. The task force has not quizzed Podesta, however, Burton says.
In a draft May 3, 1999, memo to Clinton aide Apuzzo, a White House computer manager states: “Department of Justice was notified by
the Office of Administration, General Counsel about the loss of the vice president’s e-mail files.”