According to recent reports, an email sent just after the rollout of ObamaCare enrollment website HealthCare.gov shows that at least one administration official did not want to leave a record of communication between her agency and the White House.
Department of Health and Human Services official Marilyn Tavenner sent the email, which included a dialogue with White House sources, to an intra-agency spokesperson just five days after the botched website was unveiled last October. Most notably, according to U.S. House sources in possession of the email, Tavenner included the ominous request that the receiver delete the message after reading it.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Tavenner requesting some clarification regarding why she wanted the email deleted, and whether this was an isolated incident.
That Marilyn Tavenner email really makes you wonder how often people are told to delete emails from the WH.
— John Sexton (@verumserum) August 15, 2014
Legislators also want to know more about recent reports that other agency emails – including those sent by and to Tavenner – are missing, and why correspondences that have been released to House investigators have been redacted.
Why am I thinking the best place for Marilyn Tavenner is right next to Lois Lerner in her cell for life. Both these women should do time.
— No Hamas Grandma (@CoFemale) August 15, 2014
Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson offered her take on the developing story, explaining why the official’s request is so troubling.
She noted the fact that the email in question “included an exchange between key White House officials and CMS officials,” citing the correspondence’s date in relation to the highly criticized launch of the healthcare website.
Regardless of those extraneous details, however, Attkisson noted that any email sent by an administration official must be retained per federal law.
She noted that the email correspondence “is covered under Congressional subpoena as well as longstanding Freedom of Information requests,” offering another reason why deletion of the email would have been inexcusable.
Ultimately, as Fox News reports, the email was not deleted, allowing members of the House to view and respond to Tavenner’s request.
Committee chairman Fred Upton did just that, asserting that “now we know that when HealthCare.gov was crashing, those in charge were hitting the delete button behind the scenes.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom