By MARC McDONALD
Henry Waxman is determined to find out the truth in the AttorneyGate scandal. As a result, he has directed the Republican National Committee to preserve the emails of White House officials and to investigate what steps are being taken to protect the emails from destruction.
Waxman is right to be concerned about preserving the evidence in this scandal. After all, destroying evidence is a Republican specialty---and has been a hallmark of GOP scandals over the decades.
Take the Iran-Contra affair, for example. Two decades after this shocking Reagan White House scandal, the affair remains shrouded in mystery. At the time, investigators found that uncovering the slippery truth in this scandal was as frustrating as eating soup with a fork. When pressed for details by investigators, Reagan and his collaborators repeatedly insisted that they knew nothing, or were "out of the loop."
Indeed, it was difficult for investigators to ever uncover the truth in Iran-Contra. In November, 1986, Oliver North's secretary Fawn Hall removed and shredded a large number of official Iran-Contra documents from the White House.
And the Iran-Contra affair hardly marked the first time that key evidence disappeared during a GOP scandal. I mean, who can ever forget the infamous 18 minute gap on Nixon's Watergate tapes?
George W. Bush and his friends and allies are hardly strangers to the destruction of key evidence in scandals. Take Enron, for example. This company (which was Bush's all-time biggest campaign contributor) imploded in scandal and fraud in 2001. But we'll never know the full story: Enron's accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, shredded over a ton of Enron-related documents.
Given the GOP's long history of destroying scandal evidence, Waxman had better move quickly as he tries to secure evidence, if he is ever going to uncover the truth in the AttorneyGate scandal.