Email records show that the White House knew about the secret email account used by former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson since at least February 2010.
In a 2010 email exchange between Jackson and Gary Guzy, the Deputy Director and General Counsel at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, after some initial confusion, Jackson reveals to the White House staffer that “Richard Windsor” is her “private” email account.
“Thanks kindly Richard for this information,” Guzy writes in response to a February 16, 2010 email from Jackson’s alias account.
“It’s Lisa Jackson and that’s my private email,” Jackson responded, to which Guzy than responds: “Even better! Thanks Lisa.”
Last week the Associated Press reported that top administration officials have been using secret email accounts to conduct official business. The AP investigated the issue after it was revealed that former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson had been conducting official business under the Windsor alias.
The Daily Caller News Foundation later reported that the Windsor account had also been used to correspond with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack — who was using a secret account of his own — and outside environmental groups.
The White House acknowledged the use of secret email accounts by administration officials, but argued that it made sense for high-level officials to use alternate email accounts to keep their inboxes from being filled with unwanted messages.
“There’s nothing secret,” Carney told reporters, adding that all emails are subject to government records requests and congressional oversight. Critics counter that such email practices allow federal officials to skirt public disclosure laws.
“The release of the infamous ‘Richard Windsor’ email alias documents has led to the discovery of even more, widespread inappropriate record-keeping practices within the EPA and multiple other Agencies,” said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter.
Richard Windsor was ironically honored for three years in a row as a “scholar of ethical behavior” for three years in a row, and completed various training programs at the EPA.
“I’m unclear how grown men and women could think that it’s acceptable to have a nonexistent employee sign in as the test-taker [or to have an] administrator take required certification training in the name of a false identity,” said Chris Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who was behind the lawsuit that forced the EPA to release the Richard Windsor emails.
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