The discovery was announced Monday by the National Security Archive and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, which filed lawsuits against the Executive Office of the President, or EOP, over the e-mails in 2007.
The two groups had initially filed a Freedom of Information Act request for e-mails in the wake of a scandal involving the Justice Department, which had fired U.S. attorneys around the country in an apparent political bid to rid the department of prosecutors who didn’t adhere to the White House’s conservative agenda. The missing e-mails were also potentially crucial to the investigation into the Valerie Plame–CIA leak scandal.
These emails will now be cataloged in the National Archives and made part of the public domain. Potentially there is information contained within that will show not only the corrupt nature of the Bush Justice Department but also that Plame's outing by Dick Cheney and his staff was illegal. Could formal charges finally be brought against Cheney? Could "Scooter" Libby face more charges or would that fall under the "no double jeopardy" rule?
This story has the potential to spell big trouble for former Bush administration officials, and the spin from conservatives will likely be quite dizzying.