Federal judge: Yeah, there’s a good chance the EPA has been using secret e-mail accounts “in bad faith”

posted at 6:41 pm on August 15, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Through their efforts, the Competitive Enterprise Institute first shed some light on the rather mysterious life and times of one Richard Windsor, the extralegal nome de plume used by Obama’s former Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson in conducting official EPA business over e-mail. Open-records laws require that all government business be conducted on official accounts so they can later be searched in the event of any Freedom of Information Act requests, and standard protocol directs that if any private e-mails are used for government business, they should be forwarded to official accounts. Jackson and other EPA employees repeatedly failed to do so, among other sketchy behaviors, while they were thinking up new and exciting job-killing regulations. They’ve since been less than forthright with producing requested documents — and now a federal judge has ruled that, well yeah, that does sound pretty shady. From the WFB:

U. S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Royce Lamberth ordered the EPA to submit to discovery in a case brought against it by the conservative group Landmark Legal Foundation and said the foundation can seek information to determine whether top EPA officials used personal email accounts to conduct official business.

“The possibility that unsearched personal email accounts may have been used for official business raises the possibility that leaders in the EPA may have purposefully attempted to skirt disclosure under the FOIA,” Lambert wrote. “The possibility that the agency purposefully excluded the top leaders of the EPA from the search, at least initially, suggests an unreasonable and bad faith reading of Landmark’s FOIA request and subsequent agreement to narrow its scope.”

Lambert also said the EPA’s statements concerning its search for records were incomplete and “contain numerous inconsistencies and reversals which undermine confidence in their truthfulness.”

Not cool, EPA. Not cool.

The revelation that Jackson asked to communicate with a Siemens official through her personal email account indicated the ex-EPA chief skirted federal sunshine laws, said a letter from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s top Republican.

“We are concerned that your use of a non-official e-mail account was a deliberate attempt to circumvent federal transparency laws and Congressional oversight. Accordingly, we are writing to request your cooperation as the Committee investigates this matter,” the Thursday letter states.

Vitter and Issa requested all correspondence from Jackson’s personal email account spanning the duration of her EPA tenure that “refer or relate” to official business.


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Duh.

Resist We Much on August 15, 2013 at 6:45 PM

If Congress starting enforcing the existing laws regarding transparency and corruption maybe this crap would come to a screeching halt.

I’m looking at you Lois Lerner and Lisa Jackson.

antipc on August 15, 2013 at 6:51 PM

More members of this utterly corrupt regime who need to face a jury.

rbj on August 15, 2013 at 6:51 PM

The possibility that unsearched personal email accounts may have been used for official business raises the possibility that leaders in the EPA may have purposefully attempted to skirt disclosure under the FOIA,” Lambert wrote.

Permanent face-palm.

msupertas on August 15, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Good call there, Judge Sherlock. First name No-$hit.

msupertas on August 15, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Vitter and Issa requested all correspondence from Jackson’s personal email account spanning the duration of her EPA tenure that “refer or relate” to official business.

NEWSFLASH: Friday evening, EPA officials announced that there was a LARGE FIRE in the records storage area of the EPA.

GarandFan on August 15, 2013 at 6:56 PM

If Congress starting enforcing the existing laws regarding transparency and corruption maybe this crap would come to a screeching halt.

I’m looking at you Lois Lerner and Lisa Jackson.

antipc on August 15, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Any day now they ahh wewwy gohn get vewwy angwy.

arnold ziffel on August 15, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Meh.

So what did Jennifer Aniston wear today?

forest on August 15, 2013 at 6:59 PM

[GarandFan on August 15, 2013 at 6:56 PM]

Here’s hoping Snowden’s cousin works at the NSA.

Dusty on August 15, 2013 at 6:59 PM

o/t

FLASH: Howard Dean is heading for Iowa!

The Scream: The Sequel?

Resist We Much on August 15, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Most transparent administration ever!

VorDaj on August 15, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Meh.

So what did Jennifer Aniston wear today?

forest on August 15, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Well, as her popularity fades, it has to be less than before.

VorDaj on August 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Any day now they ahh wewwy gohn get vewwy angwy.

arnold ziffel on August 15, 2013 at 6:57 PM

If history is any guide, at some point in the future, the tyrants in DC will only wish they were to face juries.

‘Let me be clear,’ I’m not advocating anything. I am merely stating what history has proven over and over again. Tyrants eventually have to face those that they have oppressed.

Resist We Much on August 15, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Meh.

So what did Jennifer Aniston wear today?

forest on August 15, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Well, as her popularity fades, it has to be less than before.

VorDaj on August 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM

The $38,000 crocodile bag that PETA’s 2008 Person of the Year wanted to see in Zurich was designed by Jennifer Anniston.

Alas, she didn’t buy it because…racism…or something.

Resist We Much on August 15, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Landmark Legal Foundation is Mark Levin’s outfit. He’s a one man leftist wrecking ball. Go Mark!!

Common Sense Floridian on August 15, 2013 at 7:14 PM

The $38,000 crocodile bag that PETA’s 2008 Person of the Year wanted to see in Zurich was designed by Jennifer Anniston.

Alas, she didn’t buy it because…racism…or something.

Resist We Much on August 15, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Not by but for. Just do not want to give her any kudos she did not earn.

(The Newspaper Blick described the bag as a crocodile-leather Tom Ford design named for actress Jennifer Aniston, a fan of the American designer. We’re impressed.) – See more at: http://www.earthintransition.org/2013/08/croc-croaks-for-oprahs-purse/#sthash.G0kKKcnH.dpuf

astonerii on August 15, 2013 at 7:17 PM

If history is any guide, at some point in the future, the tyrants in DC will only wish they were to face juries.

‘Let me be clear,’ I’m not advocating anything. I am merely stating what history has proven over and over again. Tyrants eventually have to face those that they have oppressed.

Resist We Much on August 15, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Those who got us here will be securely entrenched behind billion dollar fortresses and security details. Probably in foreign lands. Will we be droning them?
I am not confident our military will be loyal to the people or the pat rag of a paper no one cares about, with all the lovely social engineering and NSA assisted ousters of top brass.

astonerii on August 15, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Dude, Levin’s forced them to submit to discovery. That is a big effin deal. Now Levin can find all the evidence he needs to eviscerate them in court.

knob on August 15, 2013 at 7:52 PM

The task of government in this enlightened time does not extend to actually dealing with problems. Solving problems might put bureaucrats out of work. No, the task of government is to make it look as though problems have been solved, while continuing to keep the maximum number of consultants and bureaucrats employed dealing with them.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on August 15, 2013 at 8:41 PM

If this is happening in the EPA it’s happening ALL OVER OBAMA’S CESSPOOL of an administration!

Guaranteed.

Every single investigation that’s being conducted in each and every government department or agency headed up by an Obama political appointee, should make this SAME EXACT CASE and pursue this same exact result.

Because as we’ve already seen with this bunch, if one of them is doing it, they’re ALL doing it!

Meople on August 15, 2013 at 8:48 PM

If this is happening in the EPA it’s happening ALL OVER OBAMA’S CESSPOOL of an administration!

Guaranteed.

Every single investigation that’s being conducted in each and every government department or agency headed up by an Obama political appointee, should make this SAME EXACT CASE and pursue this same exact result.

Because as we’ve already seen with this bunch, if one of them is doing it, they’re ALL doing it!

Meople on August 15, 2013 at 8:48 PM

I’m also not seeing a lot of evidence that the Congressional committees are wising up to the greedy-union shadow management structure in the IRS, EPA, etc. This is the whole reason that the REB wrote an Executive Order allowing the greedy-union access to all management decisions and meetings and made their participation un-FOIA-able.

Until they bring the greedy-union leaders into Congressional hearings as well, under oath, they will not crack open the corruption.

slickwillie2001 on August 15, 2013 at 9:00 PM

I’m also not seeing a lot of evidence that the Congressional committees are wising up to the greedy-union shadow management structure in the IRS, EPA, etc. This is the whole reason that the REB wrote an Executive Order allowing the greedy-union access to all management decisions and meetings and made their participation un-FOIA-able.

Until they bring the greedy-union leaders into Congressional hearings as well, under oath, they will not crack open the corruption.

slickwillie2001 on August 15, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Totally agree. The union thugs that are all over Washington are just as dirty and corrupt as their goon bosses.

Repubs have got to stop playing nice with these criminals and start treating them AS SUCH.

Stop digging with a little short handled shovel into “suspected” wrongdoing to find “possible crimes”. START with an excavator and a fleet of dump trucks working on the PREMISE that you’re working to uncover a buried CITY of prosecutable felonies!

Because THAT’s the level of corruption and lawlessness we’re dealing with here.

Meople on August 15, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Complain complain you can’t beat invisibility for transparency can you? /s

KW64 on August 15, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Just go read 5 USC § 552.
There are no penalties

This is as good as it gets:
(6) The Attorney General of the United States shall submit an annual report on or before April 1 of each calendar year which shall include for the prior calendar year a listing of the number of cases arising under this section, the exemption involved in each case, the disposition of such case, and the cost, fees, and penalties assessed under subparagraphs (E), (F), and (G) of subsection (a)(4). Such report shall also include a description of the efforts undertaken by the Department of Justice to encourage agency compliance with this section.

USAG Eric Holder will submit a report.
Whoopie !!!!!

J_Crater on August 15, 2013 at 11:27 PM

This is outrageous. A clear abuse of power.

But I’ve given up. Nothing will ever be done about this. We are ruled by petty bureaucrats and the Republicans like it that way.

(I can only assume that is the case because they NEVER do anything about this. No one is ever called to account for these clear violations of the law.)

It’s sad watching a once-great country fall. I never really wondered what it was like living in a banana republic, but I’m sure finding out now.

makattak on August 16, 2013 at 10:07 AM