Report: White House Hid Subpoenaed E-Mail

July 7, 2008 - 8:25 PM

(CNSNews.com) - A woman who once managed computer operations for the White House says Clinton administration officials hid thousands of e-mails that were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury and three congressional committees.

According to a report in Tuesday's Washington Times, those e-mails contain information on Filegate, Chinagate, campaign finance abuses, and Monica Lewinsky.

The newspaper quotes Sheryl Hall as saying that the White House did conduct a computer search for the subpoenaed documents. But, said Hall, a computer glitch prevented thousands of requested documents from turning up.

Computer contract workers told White House staffers about the server problem that caused the incomplete document search, but Hall says those staffers simply covered up the fact that as many as 100,000 e-mails had not been surrendered.

Instead of handing over the subpoenaed documents, Hall said White House officials labeled the e-mails "classified" to prevent their release.

And what's more, said Hall, White House officials threatened the contract workers who discovered the computer glitch: "When the contractors told the White House about the problem, they were threatened, warned not to discuss it. They were told the documents were classified. In fact, a White House official told one of the contractors they had a jail cell with his name on it if he discussed the matter," Hall said.

Hall said the decision to hide the e-mails from the grand jury and three congressional committees was part of a "continuing campaign by the White House to delay and impede" various investigations.

The electronic messages in question are dated from August 1996 to November 1998. As many as 4,000 of them have something to do with Monica Lewinsky, the woman with whom President Clinton had a sexual affair he later lied about.

In addition to the Lewinsky messages, Hall said hundreds of other e-mails included references to secret FBI files on former Reagan and Bush administration officials; information on the selection of corporate executives for overseas trade trips; and messages concerning campaign finance activities in the 1996 election.

Hall left the White House after criticizing the way First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was using the White House Office Database system - for unspecified "political activities." The Washington Times reports those "political activities" apparently involved illegal fundraising.

Hall, who now works at the US Treasury Department, is suing Mrs. Clinton and other White House staffers for harassing her and demoting her after she complained about the alleged misuse of the White House Office Database.

Her lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court in Washington by Judicial Watch, a public interest law firm that was instrumental in prompting the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct to consider revoking President Clinton's law license. A final decision on that is still pending.

White House spokesman James Kennedy told the Washington Times that administration officials made "a good faith effort to respond in a timely fashion to all requests for information" sought under subpoena, but he did not elaborate. "We generally do not discuss the details of particular requests," he said.