Good. Presidents behave better when they know history is not only watching, but taking notes.
The Presidential Records Act has come a long way since George W. Bush’s attempt to eviscerate it in 2001. The Act recently gained teeth that will, among other improvements: establish a process for the publication of presidential records after the president leaves office, making it harder for former executives to block publication of their records by citing executive privilege; forbid executive branch officials from conducting government business over personal email, thereby evading the FOIA; and modernize records management by expanding and clarifying the definition of electronic records.
On November 1, 2001, President Bush signed Executive Order 13233, giving former presidents, vice presidents, and their heirs the indefinite authority to block the release of White House records. The White House’s intrusion was confounding, considering the infrequency former executives and their designated…
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