Republicans on the House Science Committee for the third time demanded that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson hand over records related to the use of secondary email accounts at the agency. The committee specifically requested records on Jackson’s use of an email account under the alias “Richard Windsor.”
“The use of a false identity raises serious questions about whether the EPA has adequately preserved related records,” reads the letter sent from the committee. “Despite these legitimate concerns, the EPA has thus far refused to comply with the Committee’s request.”
“The American public deserves to know whether Administrator Jackson’s secret email accounts were appropriately maintained by the agency according to requirements by federal law,” said Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee chairman. “If they have nothing to hide, why not comply with our request?”
This third letter is a follow-up to a second request sent in December, which the EPA failed to respond to by the committee’s January 4th deadline. The recent letter sent on Thursday warned the agency that “failure to respond may result in formal action requiring EPA’s compliance.”
“EPA’s refusal only adds to suspicion that Administrator Jackson’s secret email accounts were intended to evade transparency and circumvent congressional oversight,” Smith added.
“The common thread running through EPA’s behavior to date regarding the false-identity account we discovered is that the Agency has no intention of coming clean, at least without a fight,” Chris Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who discovered Jackson’s use of an alias account, said in an email.
“Instead, its behavior indicates an intention to try and tap-dance as deep into the calendar on this matter as they can in the hope that interest and possible repercussions — including from the details of discussions, which were such that a false identity was used to engage in them — will fade by the time the truth comes out.”
In November 2012, the House Science Committee called on the EPA inspector general to audit the EPA’s electronic database management practices after a report from The Daily Caller News Foundation, based on information provided by Horner, that Richard Windsor was one of the aliases used by Jackson.
“That is the name — sorry, one of the alias names — used by Obama’s radical EPA chief to keep her email from those who ask for it,” Horner told The DC News Foundation, saying former EPA officials informed him of this.
The EPA inspector general confirmed in December 2012 that he intended to “determine whether EPA follows applicable laws and regulations when using private and alias email accounts to conduct official business.”
Despite multiple attempts by various congressional committees to get adequate records from the EPA regarding the use of alias email accounts, Horner is skeptical they will get anywhere.
“I suggest that only once Ms. Jackson is gone and gainfully employed will EPA show even the pretense of interest in full cooperation,” Horner said.
On December 27, 2012, Jackson announced her plan to leave the Obama administration, and it has since been reported that she was leaving because she was convinced Obama’s would approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Horner, however, believes the email investigation is the reason.
“Life’s full of coincidences, but this is too many,” Horner told FoxNews.com. “She had no choice.”
Republican Louisiana Sen. David Vitter also said that public scrutiny over Jackson’s use of an alias email account led to her resignation.
“I think this email issue clearly spurred Lisa Jackson’s resignation,” Vitter said. “But it’s much broader than her. It’s about a culture of hiding an extreme agenda from Americans because it can’t be sustained in public debate.”
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