U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the White House Office of Administration is not required to turn over records about a large collection of possibly missing e-mails. The ruling found the agency does not have “substantial independent authority” so it is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
The decision means the White House does not have to disclose documents relating to its troubled e-mail system which may have caused millions of White House e-mails to be unaccounted for.
The lawsuit was originally saught by watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had sued under FOIA, which expressed disappointment in the ruling and is appealing the decision.
In January, the White House said it cannot rule out that it may have lost certain e-mails from a period in which the United States decided to go to war with Iraq, White House officials leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame and the Justice Department started a criminal investigation into who leaked the information.
The White House has denied any e-mails have been destroyed.