Judge Napolitano: DOE's Warning to Staffers to Not Use Personal Emails Days Before Solyndra Went Bankrupt Is 'Uninformed Advice'
A new report shows that just 10 days before the energy company Solyndra went bankrupt, staffers were warned to not use their personal emails. Jonathan Silver, the former executive director of the Department of Energy loan program, sent this email to colleagues: “Don’t ever send an email on DOE email with personal email addresses…that makes them subpoenable (SIC).”
Judge Andrew Napolitano stopped by Your World to weigh in on this so-called legal advice. He clarified that regardless of whether it’s a criminal, congressional or administrative investigation, Silver may have to answer to an inspector general, a congressional committee, and federal prosecutors who would then be able to obtain
The judge explained, “They can get the email of a Department of Energy official using his own personal BlackBerry in his Department of Energy office to email another Department of Energy person on his personal BlackBerry using non-government email addresses.”
Even personal emails can be subpoenaed by a criminal, congressional or administrative regulation. The DOE official’s advice may not have been factually correct, but Judge Napolitano says that so long as he was not telling others to delete emails or asking them to lie, then he did not commit a crime. “I don’t know what was in this guy’s head. He obviously knew that this thing was going to go south. Maybe he was saying 'be careful what you say.' That’s not a crime,” he added.