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White House suffers loss in e-mail case
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    WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Monday ruled against the Bush administration in a court battle over the White House’s problem-plagued e-mail system.
    U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy says two private groups may pursue their case as they press the administration to recover millions of possibly missing electronic messages.
    Kennedy rejected the government’s request to throw out the lawsuits filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive.
    The Bush administration had argued that the courts did not have the power to order the White House to retrieve any missing e-mails.
    A document obtained by The Associated Press in August says the White House is missing as many as 225 days of e-mail dating back to 2003.
    The nine-page outline of the White House’s e-mail problems invites companies to bid on a project to recover the missing electronic messages. The White House has not said whether it has hired a contractor.
    CREW executive director Melanie Sloan called the ruling ‘‘a clear victory for the American people. The Executive Office of the President does have to answer for the missing e-mail.’’
    CREW and the National Security Archive are seeking a court order directing the archivist of the United States to ask that the attorney general initiate legal action under the Federal Records Act.

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