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Chronology of events in the White House e-mail lawsuits

Previous postings

February 21, 2009
Obama Justice Department Misses Opportunity for Transparency

January 15, 2009
White House e-mail in "true emergency conditions"

January 14, 2009
White House admits it has not recovered files from computer workstations or collected external computer storage media that may contain missing e-mails

November 10, 2008
Court Rejects White House on Missing E-mails

July 29, 2008
Magistrate Judge Affirms Recommendation that Court Order White House to Preserve E-mails on Workstations and Portable Media

May 6, 2008
White House Backups are Incomplete, May Not Contain Some Missing E-mails

April 24, 2008
Court Sets Deadline for White House Answers on Missing E-mail

April 17, 2008
Ruling on Preservation of White House E-Mails Awaited; New Law Proposed to Address Destruction of Electronic Records

March 18, 2008
Court orders White House to show cause why it should not create forensic copies of all electronic media

February 26, 2008
White House Ignored Repeated Warnings That E-mails Were at Risk

January 16, 2008
White House Admits No Back-Up Tapes for E-mail Before October 2003

January 8, 2008
White House Must Answer Questions About Missing White House E-mails, Magistrate Judge Rules

December 14, 2007
Archive Argues Against Government Attempt to Dismiss White House E-mail Lawsuit

November 13, 2007
Judge Orders Executive Office of the President to Preserve E-mail Back-Up Tape

October 29, 2007
Archive seeks to discover true extent of missing e-mails at White House

September 5, 2007
Archive Sues to Recover 5 Million Missing White House E-mails



White House Agrees to Share Information in an Effort to Resolve Archive's E-mail Lawsuit

For more information contact:
Thomas Blanton/Meredith Fuchs
National Security Archive -

Washington, DC, April 14, 2009 - The plaintiffs and defendants in the pending lawsuit seeking restoration of millions of missing White House e-mails and the installation of an effective e-mail archiving system have agreed to stay the case so that the parties can discuss whether the matter can be resolved outside of litigation.

"There are many questions that need to be answered by the White House before the case can be fully resolved, including whether e-mails are still missing and whether more e-mail are at risk of disappearance, what efforts have been made to restore the millions of missing records, and whether records are likely to go missing again," explained the Archive’s General Counsel, Meredith Fuchs. "In the meantime, we appreciate that the Obama White House has expressed a willingness to try to answer some of these questions, and we are going to make a strong effort to do so while also ensuring that there are no gaps in the documentary history of the White House."

The National Security Archive originally filed its case on September 5, 2007 against the Executive Office of the President and the National Archives and Records Administration to preserve and restore missing e-mail federal records. A subsequent lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has been consolidated with the Archive's lawsuit.

A chronology of the litigation is available here.


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