- In a stunning sworn statement, a current White House
employee blows the whistle on Al Gore and his staff involving the storage
-- and handling -- of emails into and out from the vice president's offfice
complex -- emails that recently were discovered were lost due to technical
- The staffer, Howard Sparks, has been at the White House
for a number of years and in a four-page "declaration" obtained
by Insight, he swears not only to having warned Gore's staff as far back
as 1993 about making sure to back up emails on tapes and to put into place
other safeguards, he also reveals that he warned co-workers that there
were legal problems with the old "Big Brother" computer system
officially known as the White House Office Data Base, or WHODB that Insight
first revealed in exclusive stories years ago.
- What is remarkable about Sparks' sworn statements made
to Judicial Watch on June 19, 2000, is that he's still an employee of the
White House in the Office of Administration, or OA, where he's worked since
1987 and holds the rank of a GS 14 and branch manager.
- Sparks' statement about Gore concerning emails is sure
to fuel speculation concerning the vice president's recent admissions that
his office "lost" or otherwise failed to capture about a year's
worth of emails under subpoena covering the 1997 to 1998 time periods.
Gore and staff said they didn't know there were problems or that they
had options other than the systems they claimed to have used that, admittingly,
- But Sparks, in a statement sure to cause great peril
to his employment, says that Gore's top guy way back in 1993, Mike Gill,
dismissed such issues and assured the support staff of OA that Gore &
Company would take care of their email systems separate, effectively, from
that offered by carreer folks like Sparks.
- "Mr. Gill did not care about these legal requirements
and essentially told us to get lost, that the vice president's office would
take care its own records," Sparks says in a four-page sworn statement.
- Gore's office has said that this glitch occurred because
of a problem with computers and a failure of support staff to have established
an adequate system to protect such messages on backup tapes.
- Sparks' stunning "testimony" however puts to
bed this reasoning as false given that he claims the Gore camp as far back
as 1993 was warned that emails had to be archieved and that, to comply
with the law, they needed to be backed up with duplicate tapes or other
devices. However, this was not done -- a fact acknowledged recently by
Gore himself and his own staff.
- Sparks also said that, despite warnings from professional
staff at the White House, Bill Clinton & Company failed to establish
adequate safeguards to both provide and safeguard electronic communications
as required by law.
- In essence, the revelations of Sparks to Judicial Watch
confirm previous statements obtained initially by Insight from other White
House staff -- both current and former -- that despite warnings and systems
in place, the Clinton/Gore White House dismissed or otherwise evaded systems
to provide for adequate record keeping of records.
- Moreover, Sparks' testimony as an existing and valued
employee of the White House will add substantial credibility to issues
raised by Judicial Watch and others,including the federal Campaign Task
Force and Congress, that the Clinton/Gore White House has engaged in schemes
to avoid proper record-keeping notwithstanding various laws and orders
by courts to maintain such records.
- For example, eamils: Sparks and Sheryl Mills (a former
manager at the White House telecommunications office who was, effectively
fired for blowing the whistle about WHODB and as-yet unseen long-distance
telephone records the White House says don't exist) among others, have
filed sworn statements (see Insight's web page for related stories), that
could leade investigators to hordes of documents that have been under subpoena
but never turned over by the White House.
- As with "Project X" involving the White House
emails fiasco that Insight first revealed to the public, it can now be
revealed for the first time that yet another unknown repository of data
concerning White House emails and related communications exists that federal
investigators have no knowledge of, nor does the White House.
- Just as with the the so-called emails involving Project
X and the missing long-distance telephone records the White House has long
maintained don't exist or, at best, claims shows no information, Insight
has been told that there apparently exists a secret database of previously
unknown information that, technically, should have captured EVERY single
communication INTO AND OUT FROM the White House, the Executive Office of
the President, and the offices of Vice President Al Gore.
- This potential "unknown" trove of treasures
is located in the automatic back up tapes of the computer systems' firewall,
Insight is told. "It is something that no one would have bothered
to have considered because it is purely a technical matter," an insider
- "But, unless its tapes have been erased, every single
bit of data that went into or out from the White House [complex] would
be automatically stored by the computer sytem on the firewall backup tapes
that automatically are stored," said an expert familiar with the White
House computer systems. "Only a few people know about these particular
tapes and, unless they have been overwritten, they exist somehwere...they
can provide unique data.:"
- The Sparks declaration is now among a growing list of
statements from current AND former White House staf with no axes to grind
who reveal information contrary to that which White House officials have
either given to the press or to federal investigatgors, whether at the
law enforcement level or in Congress.
- Besides Sparks and Hall, Betty Lamburth has given a statement
providing information contray to the White House position, as has a former
senior lawyer at the White House.
- Given the late stages of the Clinton presidency, it's
unknown what, if any, consequences may arise from statements such as those
provided by Sparks. However, for Gore, such sworn statements can only raise
problems as surely as the campaign season moves towards the conventions
and more people line up to spill the beans.
- By: Paul M. Rodriguez
- Insight >>
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