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McCain demands answers from Obama on "secret" email accounts

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has fired off a letter to President Obama questioning some of his political appointees' use of alternate government email accounts to conduct official business.

McCain sent a list of questions Monday to Mr. Obama and accused the president of turning his back on his campaign promise of ushering in "a new era of government transparency."

Since being elected, McCain wrote to Mr. Obama, "[Y]our administration has habitually circumvented congressional oversight. Congress cannot perform its constitutionally-mandated duty to report to the people what their government is doing while your administration creates secret alternate communications networks. If your administration continues to undermine congressional oversight, the political accountability of the executive branch will be severely weakened."

McCain asked the president to respond to eight questions by July 1, including whether the heads of federal agencies can "ensure and... certify that" all emails will be turned over in response to Freedom of Information Act requests and "how widespread is the use of secret e-mail accounts within your administration?"

The Associated Press reported earlier this month that officials are using the email accounts, making it difficult to respond to requests for public records and answer congressional inquiries.

The White House subsequently acknowledgedthe practice, though insisted the accounts aren't "secret." Spokesman Jay Carney said all email accounts, public and otherwise, were subject congressional oversight.

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