The Second Gonzales letter

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The Second Gonzales letter, released late Tuesday …

The following notice was sent to all White House employees:

IMPORTANT FOLLOW-UP MESSAGE FROM COUNSEL’S OFFICE

This communication is a follow-up to the directive I sent you this morning regarding the preservation of certain materials in the possession of the
White House, its staff, or its employees.

Pursuant to a request from the Department of Justice, I am instructing you to preserve and maintain the following:

“[F]or the time period February 1, 2002 to the present, all documents, including without limitation all electronic records, telephone records of any kind
(including but not limited to any records that memorialize telephone calls having been made), correspondence, computer records, storage devices, notes,
memoranda, and diary and calendar entries, that relate in any way to:

1. Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, his trip to Niger in February 2002, and/or his wife’s purported relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency;

2. Contacts with any member or representative of the news media about Joseph C. Wilson, his trip to Niger in February 2002, and/or his wife’s purported relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency; and

3. Contacts with reporters Knut Royce, Timothy M. Phelps, or Robert D. Novak, or any individual(s) acting directly or indirectly, on behalf of these reporters.”

You must preserve all documents relating, in any way, directly or indirectly, to these subjects, even if there would be a question whether the document would be a presidential or federal record or even if its destruction might otherwise be permitted.

If you have any questions regarding any of the foregoing, please contact Associate Counsels Ted Ullyot or Raul Yanes in the Counsel to the President’s Office.

Alberto R. Gonzales

Counsel to the President

Knut Royce and Timothy Phelps of Newsday have done some of the best reporting of anyone in town on the whole issue of Iraq, politicized intelligence and the Joe Wilson matter. They’ve clearly got some awfully good and pretty generous sources. What are their names doing in this memo?

They reported early on Novak’s original column. But why that should put them in the mix here isn’t immediately clear.

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