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Obstruction hearings ordered by Lamberth
Posted By Paul Sperry On 07/20/2000 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
WASHINGTON — A federal judge yesterday ordered hearings on allegations the
White House obstructed justice by threatening contractors to keep secret
major gaps in e-mail records under subpoena.
The U.S. District Court hearings, slated to begin July 31, open the door for
government watchdog Judicial Watch to question key White House officials
under oath about the shocking charges.
Judicial Watch Chairman Larry Klayman plans to call to the stand Mark
Lindsay, Laura Crabtree Callahan, Virginia Apuzzo, Ada Posey, John Podesta,
Cheryl Mills, Charles Ruff and other White House officials involved in the
Project X scandal.
All of these officials knew about a two-year gap in mostly West Wing e-mail
archives, yet failed to inform Congress and federal authorities
investigating various White House scandals.
Klayman also will call former White House computer manager Kathleen Gallant
and other whistle-blowers to testify.
The testimony of contractors recently hired by the White House to
reconstruct and search e-mail back-up tapes also is relevant to the
obstruction hearings. The project has been fraught with setbacks and delays.
And a number of questions surround the White House’s hiring of the
It turns out that the prime contractor on the job has little
computer-forensics experience and says the White House picked its
subcontractor. The subcontractor also employs former White House officials,
giving the appearance of a conflict of interest. WorldNetDaily broke both of
Judge Royce Lamberth himself has quizzed the White House’s lead defense
lawyer about these issues.
In another development, Lamberth agreed to observe On Track Data
International Inc. as it demonstrates its allegedly faster tape-copying
procedure tomorrow at a facility owned by SRA International Inc., one of the
White House contractors.
According to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, an On Track computer
technician in a test conducted yesterday copied a tape with some 17
gigabytes of data in just two hours.
In contrast, the White House, which has been able to copy successfully only
five of the 3,400 back-up tapes in nearly four months, says it can’t copy
faster than one tape every 46-50 hours.
At that rate, all the e-mail files won’t be turned over to the court until
well after the election.
Lamberth may order changes in the control and structure of the project
depending on the outcome of today’s test run.
The hearings are part of the discovery phase of a $90 million class-action
“Filegate” lawsuit against the White House. Hillary Rodham Clinton is named
as a defendant.
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