Even as two House committees look into allegations that a hard drive crash resulted in the disappearance of countless vital emails, the Environmental Protection Agency refuses to respond to a subpoena issued last year demanding the release of emails and other documents. The investigation sought to determine whether the White House attempted to influence the agency in its compliance with previous congressional requests.
A number of scandals within the agency – including an official who took home unearned money while portraying himself as a CIA agent, and another who received a deal on a new luxury car from a lobbyist – are within the scope of the investigation.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy appeared before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, where she faced fierce accusations from Chairman Darrell Issa. When McCarthy asserted that she is not prepared to release the information he requested, he turned the tables on her.
He said, “Could you imagine if I just went ahead and set up a coal energy plant without a permit, started burning raw coal to produce electricity, and then told you for month after month after month that I look forward to working with you?”
He then confirmed his intention to hold the EPA in contempt of Congress.
Although McCarthy suggested that her offer of a private email viewing that ostensibly shows there was no collusion between the EPA and White House to withhold information from Congress should be sufficient, Issa balked at the idea. He called the offer “insufficient,” confirming that, with the GOP in control, the days of apathetic congressional investigations are over.
“This is my watch,” he said. “This is my time. Elections have consequences. You have not complied with the subpoena. I am telling you, the time to comply is now.”
After seven months of obstruction, Issa concluded that McCarthy’s claims are suspect.
“It is contemptible for months to pass and have you say that you’re negotiating,” he said.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom