House subcommittee authorizes subpoenas against RNC

The subpoenas have not yet been issued; they would seek e-mails sent by White House officials using RNC accounts.

By Alex Koppelman

Published July 12, 2007 3:27PM (EDT)

Having concluded their discussion of former White House counsel Harriet Miers' defiance of a subpoena that directed her to appear at a hearing today, a House Judiciary subcommittee moved on to other business related to the ongoing investigation into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and authorized subpoenas to the Republican National Committee.

The subpoenas -- which have only been authorized, not issued; that's a separate step that can come later, but does not have to -- would seek all e-mails stored on RNC servers that were sent to the RNC by White House officials that might relate to the investigation. In April, the House Judiciary Committee requested that the RNC turn over those e-mails, but the RNC has yet to produce them.

Because of federal law that prohibits political work from being conducted with taxpayer money, some in the White House have maintained a separate RNC e-mail address on which to do that political work. In some instances, some officials -- like former White House political director Sara Taylor, who testified to this effect on Wednesday -- used the RNC accounts to conduct official business.

In a July 9 letter to an attorney for the RNC, CC'd to Congress, Special Counsel to the President Emmett T. Flood "direct[ed] the RNC not to disclose ... without prior authorization of the White House" the majority of the e-mails requested by the committee.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

War Room