By Tad Cronn
It’s almost as if President Obama sent out a memo.
But then if he did, you’ll never find it.
According to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, more than 20 Obama Administration officials subpoenaed by Congress have lost or deleted emails requested during their investigations.
The latest is Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Marilynn Tavenner, one of the people involved in the ludicrously botched rollout of the Obamacare website.
Curiously, Tavenner has admitted not maintaining copies of her emails between February 2010 and November 2013, one month after the Healthcare.gov website debuted, even though she is required by the Federal Records Act to do so, according to a report by, of all media outlets, MSNBC.
Since the records were subpoenaed 10 months ago, that may mean that Tavenner continued to delete emails even after Issa sought the records.
According to the Daily Caller, CMS wrote in a memo to the National Archives, “During her entire tenure at CMS, Ms. Tavenner’s CMS e-mail address, which is accessible to both colleagues and the public, has been subject to write-in campaigns involving thousands of e-mails from the public. Therefore, she receives an extremely high volume of e-mails that she manages daily. To keep an orderly e-mail box and to stay within the agency’s e-mail system capacity limits, the administrator generally copied or forwarded e-mails to immediate staff for retention and retrieval, and did not maintain her own copies.”
So you would think the emails could be obtained from those staff members. But apparently, there’s a problem with that, too, as CMS has told Issa that Tavenner may not be able to comply with the subpoena, issued on Oct. 10 for emails regarding the Healthcare.gov website up through Nov. 13, only after which time Tavenner apparently remembered to keep copies of her emails.
At the time the subpoena was issued Issa said in a press release, “The Administration’s failure to provide answers about what led to the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov and what is being done to fix it is completely unacceptable. The evidence is mounting that the website did not go through proper testing, including critical security testing, and that the Administration ignored repeated warnings from contractors about ongoing problems. The American people deserve to know why the Administration spent significant taxpayer money on a product that is entirely dysfunctional and puts their personal information at risk.”
Issa’s not the only one who has had trouble obtaining what should be public Obamacare records. According to an article by the National Review, the media outlet had to sue to obtain records from the Nevada health exchange about how many Obamacare navigators had criminal records. In that case, eight did.
Similarly, California’s health exchange officials tried to hide the public records, with an attorney for the exchange writing, “All of these documents are nondisclosable because the public interest served by not disclosing the record clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record.” National Review finally got the records and found that California had at least 43 convicted criminals handling sensitive medical information, including some guilty of financial crimes.
It seems that government officials in charge of Obamacare at all levels want to talk about what a fabulous success the program is, but not talk about the real facts.
In the case of Obama Administration officials “losing” their emails, whether it be from a crashed hard drive or breach of procedure, there is clearly a conspiracy afoot — again. It’s hard to keep track of all the double dealings, cabals and subplots with this White House.
“The Obama administration has lost or destroyed e-mails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law,” Issa said.
“It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal recordkeeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their e-mails,” Issa added. “Just this week, my staff followed up with HHS, who has failed to comply with a subpoena from 10 months ago. Even at that point, the Administration did not inform us that there was a problem with Ms. Tavenner’s e-mail history. Yet again, we discover that this administration will not be forthright with the American people unless cornered.”
And then the policy seems to be to delete and cover.
The only thing all these Administration officials have in common is that they answer to the same boss. Liberals will naturally try to deflect by pointing out instances with the Bush Administration in which emails went missing during critical investigations, but this Administration’s secrecy and blatant coverups are unprecedented.
It’s like Obama has given up. He just hides everything in plain sight. He doesn’t even bother asking his co-conspirators to come up with a believable cover story anymore.
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Contributed by Joe Wurzelbacher of Joe For America.
Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher crashed on the scene in 2008 when a chance run-in with then candidate Barack Obama allowed Joe to confront the soon-to-be president on his tax-and-spend Socialist philosophy. It was then, in a moment of clarity, Barack Obama let slip his real agenda; “I just want to spread some of that wealth around…” In an effort to inform the public Joe created the Joe for America web site, where you can find commentary, videos and ideas covering a wide array of topics from leading thinkers. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.