Anyone hoping for insight into the Lisa Jackson a.k.a. Richard Windsor EPA e-mail scandal will be sorely disappointed, thanks to the stonewalling nature of the EPA. Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), who discovered the secondary, fake e-mail account, filed a Freedom of Information request on May 8th, 2012 to see where the paper trail went. After wrangling with the EPA for nearly 8 months, the agency finally delivered the e-mails but there was a problem, the e-mails. After receiving the emails Horner said:               

“In short, this response is deeply troubling and seems to have gravely compounded the unlawful activity we have exposed involving a false identity assumed for federal recordkeeping purposes. Problems begin with the cover letter, which states not the promised (to the court) first delivery of ‘approximately 3,000’ but ‘more than 2,100 emails received or sent by Jackson, on what EPA insists is her one non-public account.”   

Not only did the EPA just send two thirds of the e-mails required, they also continue to deny any improper or illegal behavior on their or Lisa Jackson’s part. Unfortunately, the limited information they have disclosed only raises more questions of Jackson and the EPA. Chris Horner stated:

“Perhaps seeking to take the air out of a growing scandal, EPA defective compilations boasts an impressively anemic content-to-volume ratio. It starts with Washington Post daily news briefs, then follows with Google alerts for “Lisa Jackson EPA” (none for” Richard Windsor”). Then EPA HQ national news clips. And so on. Rope a dope Clever. Maybe too much so.”

The secondary email remains the focus of Horner and CEI’s prob but according to the EPA, “Windsor was just another secondary account.”  This is a problematic stance.

“Staking out the position Jackson used only one secondary account signals the agency has gone to bunker. Rather than search or produce from the Richard Windsor account, it is more likely the agency intends to in essence pretend it does not exist. Count as wasted that week EPA spent with all the muttering to the contrary about its origin being a combination of her pet’s name and the town in which she once lived.”

As long as the EPA continues to obstruct Mr. Horner and CEI, answers will remain few and far between. For a government agency to flout the law and not cooperate with a legitimate inquiry is a disgrace in and of itself. Their behavior at this juncture is just the tip of the iceberg.