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FBI asked to investigate whether White House destroyed e-mail in Valerie Plame controversy
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    WASHINGTON — An ethics advocacy group asked the FBI on Wednesday to investigate the White House e-mail controversy, saying electronic messages about the Valerie Plame affair may have been destroyed.
    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is basing its request on a White House document describing an effort to recover a week’s worth of missing e-mail in 2003 from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.
    White House technicians eventually retrieved e-mail from the missing week, but it is unclear whether all e-mail from the vice president’s office that week has been found. Federal prosecutors sought the e-mail in the probe of who in the Bush administration leaked Plame’s CIA identity.
    Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis ‘‘Scooter’’ Libby, was convicted of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI in the Plame inquiry.
    An investigation is warranted because of the unexplained disappearance of an entire week’s worth of e-mails from Cheney’s office while the Justice Department was investigating top White House officials, said the citizens ethics group, which is known by its acronym CREW.
    The argument was outlined in a letter from CREW to FBI Director Robert Mueller.
    The White House document that CREW relies on was placed on the public record at a Feb. 26 congressional hearing.
    It spells out how the White House had to go to a computer backup tape to hunt for missing e-mail from Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2003 from Cheney’s office. The backup tape the White House relied on was created on Oct. 21, 2003, two to three weeks after the e-mail that technicians were trying to find.
    No e-mail for the missing week could be found in locations on the backup tape where it could be expected to turn up. Technicians had to recover e-mail from the accounts of individual accounts stored on the backup tape.

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