EPA e-mail scandal questions still unanswered
Chris Horner exposed flap
- Duration 6:55
- Date Jan 16, 2013
Chris Horner exposed flap
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-- -- new -- now on a scandal at the EPA over the use of a fake name uncertain email accounts.
We cover the story after a freedom of information request last spring revealed that EPA director Lisa Jackson and others.
Used aliases to exchange emails with some outside groups there was a question about whether that was an attempt to even aid.
Freedom of information requests on some controversial matters perhaps.
-- these so called war on Cole was the allegation that they were trying to hide stuff on that.
While the EPA -- that standard practice but then ms.
Jackson unexpectedly resigned right after Christmas just as the inspector general.
With in the EPA started taking a hard look at this.
She says the resignation was just for family reasons and denies it had anything to do with the aliases now they say this -- -- -- with more widespread than we know.
My next -- think perhaps.
There is another reason to her resignation.
His name is Chris -- he's an attorney.
He's a senior fellow at the competitive at enterprise institute and author of the liberal war on transparency and -- the man who started this all Chris Horner we may never have known of Richard winds are.
The alias she was using had not been for you.
Well that's true I've I've found a very surprising memo was this -- while writing the book liberal Warren transparency about various tricks I've found they were using -- including document destruction which on -- faces criminal.
Gmail accounts private servers private computers a whole host of things and I found that.
That actually instituted the secret accounts under an administrator.
Carol Browner who had destroyed her hard drive.
In violation of a court order I take that back our hard drive.
Claiming she didn't use your computer for email anyway that I find out she instituted these with the secret -- -- accounts but.
We did ask for Lisa Jackson's emails discussing this war on coal.
And I learned that she actually created a false identity this is to our knowledge the first time ever a false identity installing a dummy employees.
Lotus Notes account on three of her computers -- screen shots from inside the agency.
Showing that we're taking this to new depths and that they're now beginning to produce documents the agreement to produce documents immediately preceding her -- resignation.
Now when when you first release this information to the public and we first got wind that we get a report on and I can tell you that war love the EPA was not happy.
And it said look this is standard practice they can't have.
You know people just emailing -- Lisa Jackson that EPA can -- be getting hundreds of thousands emails just got to get business done.
And that's all she was doing but then -- was pushed back about OK then you come up with.
Jackson the site at EPA or something that is I'd readily identifiable you don't use your dog's name and the town of the street you -- -- and and because it it.
Makes it difficult for the record keepers to find your emails when you get a freedom of information request for people like Chris Horner.
In fact we've now I think -- and that the -- -- of information act officers and EPA did not have a post it note up on the wall Richard Windsor equals Lisa Jackson because they've been turning over.
Emails with Richard yeah Richard -- name on them I have several.
-- produced to us apparently inadvertently and other people even signed lease out.
And now they're blacking out the name she used in the documents they just -- just claiming it's a state -- it would violate her personal.
Privacy it's amazing it took -- until now to realize you need to create a false identity in violation of federal law to correspond internally.
This is not as far as we know what something that everybody does unless they're proving too much as saying.
Everybody in this administration does it.
But the only -- and foreseeable.
Certainly -- -- -- foreseeable outcome of creating a false identity for federal record keeping purposes is that you would subvert federal record keeping -- disclosure law.
Now I wanna talk about two -- thanks -- carry this segment Africa is this is important.
You know in your book you talk about it's not just the EPA is such as Lisa Jackson that -- -- some shocking examples.
Of non transparency.
Within this administration to try to keep.
People who have the right to the information from getting it but finding out what they're actually talking about on some important issues -- we're gonna talk about that.
But I do want to ask you did -- After this whole thing happened she was -- she resign and all that you've got first wave of information that was released did you find anything interesting under the Richard Windsor email.
I found that when they told Fox News we have nothing to hide that that position is no longer operative.
Because they using the traditional typical blacked out rectangle they blocked out the administrators name.
On the emails they're hiding from us the taxpayer -- -- on -- this microphone what we're paying for this government.
Actually my children are they're hiding what an injury and searching I think they're boarding -- even the winds -- account.
I stand by Chris we'll continue to Zenyatta -- Try to bring -- with us.
For starters back with -- now he's an attorney and a senior fellow at the competitive enterprise institute and author of the liberal war on transparency so let's talk about that because you're talking.
You know you -- on little Lisa Jackson thing in the in the greater context of of suggesting that this government is not revealing to -- of people.
What it has the obligation to reveal can you give us any specifics.
-- they're going to Great Lakes I mean if you examples to avoid creating records -- what the law considers records they are boarding searching for records and when they do produce than there actually destroying them.
For example -- using industry lobby groups as go betweens with liberal activist groups to avoid the written paper trail like the American wind energy association served as the cut out.
Between department energy during the green jobs push.
And the Center for American Progress.
They used -- well out of the White House to conduct these distract these deals -- drug companies.
You give us a 150 million in lobbying and ads for the -- -- and you get four billion in the bill you conduct that deal if you have to conducted on your White House WHO.
GOP dot gov account not Jim Messina is -- a well account.
-- but the White House has established a private computer server privately managed to conduct certain discussions.
About UN programs that are subject to a lot of Freedom of Information Act request including by me.
That they think it was a way to get around it and they've even set up a very elaborate.
Process whereby they bring in private computers paid for by the taxpayer.
Access the government server that way.
That destroys the market that the document on the government server with the only Trace his remaining on the privately owned though taxpayer purchase computer and the -- -- access to search it.
-- claiming its private property be this is government wide it's very deliberate it's often elaborate I got like some kind of criminal like the last thing -- described.
I got to -- -- but I want to ask you.
You know that they all do it is is something we see in every administration.
That -- guy had some problems but nobody -- -- this -- there's nothing on the record.
All right name -- the problem for president -- -- is that he promises is going to be the most transparent administration.
In history and there have been some questions were trying on that we're trying to hold them to that Chris thanks.