While Donald Trump and his Republican supporters continue to obsess over Hillary Clinton’s so-called email “scandal,” there’s an actual email scandal that they wish the American public would forget about. The reason they wan’t it forgotten so badly is that it involves high-level officials within the Republican Party.
In early 2007, it was revealed that the Bush administration reportedly “lost” over 5 million emails that were related to the partisan, unlawful firings of eight US attorneys. The number of emails was eventually revealed to be over 22 million. That’s quite a bit more than the 32,000 or so that the GOP claims to be so concerned about.
According to Salon, these emails were sent via private account run by the Republican National Committee. These email servers were supposed to be expressly for non-campaign related messages, to avoid ethics violations. However, investigators found evidence that 22 White House staff members, including Karl Rove, used these private servers to conduct government business.
Federal law requires the White House to maintain records of all important deliberations and decision-making processes–including all related emails. So, when millions of emails (evidence, in other words) went missing, it was a major violation of ethics and of the trust of the American people.
One of the most concerning revelations regarding these emails is that they are part of a pattern of suspicious “email blackouts” from the White House. During these apparent “blackouts,” there are no records of all of any emails from then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s office.
Thomas Blanton, the director of the National Security Archive (to clarify, not the National Security Agency), is highly concerned about these lapses in the Vice President’s emails, especially because Cheney was “widely characterized as the most powerful Vice President in history.” Given the fact that some of these blackouts occurred around the time America invaded Iraq, the National Security Archive is committed to recovering these reportedly “lost” emails from the Bush Administration.
Almost, if not more alarming is the media’s attitude towards these email blackouts–while the story broke in the middle of the week, the story wasn’t covered on any major Sunday political news shows–not Meet The Press, not Face the Nation, not Fox News Sunday.
You might remember the name Valerie Plame. She was a CIA operative who was “unmasked,” or “outed.” During the investigation regarding the leaking of her identity, it was revealed that Karl Rove’s private email server had been used to deliver official communications and documents.
While we absolutely want to avoid jumping to conclusions about the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, it’s clear to us that the Republican party’s supposed outrage over this story is a clear-cut case of “do as we say, not as we do.” This 2007 scandal implicates members of the government all the way up to the Vice President, showing not only reckless disregard for federal laws, but also a massive and deliberate cover-up on issues that include deliberations on the Iraq War and the outing of a CIA operative.
So, next time you hear a Republican pundit or politician talk about “media bias,” ask yourself where the news coverage of their massive cover-up was. A mere nine years in the past, it speaks to a massively corrupt and frightening cover-up of issues that are still affecting our nation today.