The Democratic National Committee has filed a freedom of information (FOIA) request with the office of the governor of Massachusetts in an effort to uncover whether staff destroyed information before Mitt Romney left office.
The request, obtained by The Hill, is for copies of any email communication between then governor-Romney’s staffers relating to their purchase of work computers, or for "permission to destroy, take personal possession of, or remove from official premises, records, including a description of such records."
The DNC request follows one by Romney's presidential campaign earlier in the day. The Romney camp accused Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s (D) office of providing “opposition research” to President Obama’s reelection campaign and requested any emails sent to senior Obama campaign aides David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Jim Messina, or other members of the Executive Office from 2007 to the present.
The request from Romney’s compaign followed a report by the Boston Globe that cited information provided by staffers in Patrick's office. The report claimed that Romney’s gubernatorial staff wiped out their records when Romney left office as Massachusetts governor in 2007.
According to Romney's campaign, Romney’s staff “complied with the law and longtime executive branch practice’’ in allowing some members of the staff to buy their computers before leaving office.
“Some employees exercised the option to purchase computer equipment when they left. They did so openly with personal checks," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told the Globe.
The computers bought by Romney staff were replaced with new computers before Patrick took office, and according to Patrick’s chief legal counsel Mark Reilly, the server used during Romney's time in office was also replaced.
“Under state law, a public employee may not provide services to a candidate or campaign during his or her work hours,” Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades wrote in the letter accompanying a FOIA request. “Nonetheless, it is evident that your office has become an opposition research arm of the Obama reelection campaign.”