Mitt Romney's Got No Paper Trail

Mitt Romney is heading to Europe next week for the kick-off of the London Olympics, and the start of a “listen and learn” tour through Israel and Poland that’s supposed to help him look like a statesmen. No doubt, his team is eager to get him on the road to highlight his work managing the Salt Lake City games and deflect questions about when he will release more of his tax returns and what his retroactive retirement from Bain actually means. But today’s Globe points out that Romney’s vow to provide “complete transparency” and release all documents pertaining to the SLC Olympics didn’t turn out exactly as promised. Once more, a questionable paper trail is raising concerns about what exactly Romney’s all about.

Though Romney promised journalists complete access to all committee documents, the committee charged news outlets $25 an hour to respond to research requests, and kept the fees even if the requests were denied. Records that were saved were subsequently burned at the close of the games, and those that remain have “been pretty well scrubbed,” Gregory Thompson, curator at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, told the Washington Post. Which means that emails, calendars, and other correspondence that’s considered “legally privileged” has long been turned to ash. The museum says that they plan to release the documents before the election, but sources say that we shouldn’t hold our breath for any great insights. This fact, coupled with the knowledge that Romney’s aides destroyed the bulk of his emails after his turn as governor, leaves a lot of holes in the candidate’s paper trail.