House Oversight Committee Seeks Presidential Records Transition Plan for 2009

House Oversight and Government Operations Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) recently launched another salvo towards the White House in their on-going battle over the preservation of President Bush’s records. In separate December 20, 2007, letters to Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Counsel to the President Fred Fielding, Waxman expressed concerns about whether the National Archives and the White House are adequately prepared for the turnover of Bush Administration records when the President leaves office on January 20, 2009.

Waxman cited as evidence the on-going inability of the White House to document and quantify the loss of large volumes of e-mails, and to develop a plan for restoring any e-mails that were lost. Waxman asked both the Archivist and Fielding to provide the Oversight Committee with documents relating to the operation and maintenance of e-mails systems at the White House and plans for the transfer of presidential records to the Archives at the end of the Bush Administration.

Waxman stated that the Oversight Committee is contemplating holding hearings on the topic this year.