The Associated Press finds that “some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees, including the Cabinet secretary for the Health and Human Services Department, are using secret government email accounts.”
The official explanation is that the cabinet members use the secret accounts to “prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages” . . . but the AP notes that using secret accounts has another benefit:
secret email accounts complicate an agency’s legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails in response to congressional or internal investigations, civil lawsuits or public records requests because employees assigned to compile such responses would necessarily need to know about the accounts to search them. Secret accounts also drive perceptions that government officials are trying to hide actions or decisions.
Maybe Sebelius was just afraid Eric Holder would try to read her e-mail.
There is also this bizarre detail: “The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay more than $1 million for its email addresses.”