Investigations usually bring to mind a picture of an in-depth collection of physical and tangible evidence, questioning of witnesses, cross-referencing those witnesses, and asking more questions to reach some conclusion about a past event to determine whether wrongdoing occurred. If a person accused of a crime claimed he was innocent, no reasonable and unbiased sleuth would stop his investigations based upon this admission alone. Unfortunately, such due diligence is not what the Inspector General undertook for its investigation of EPA’s use of secondary email accounts. The IG’s report concludes:
We found no evidence to support that the EPA used, promoted, or encouraged the use of private email accounts to circumvent records management responsibilities. Furthermore, EPA senior officials indicated that they were aware of the agency records management policies and, based only on discussions with these senior officials, the OIG found no evidence that these individuals had used private or alias email to circumvent federal recordkeeping responsibilities.
For those unfamiliar with the ongoing saga, CEI Fellow Chris Horner, after conducting extensive research for his book, discovered a secondary email account for former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson – the birth of the so-called “Richard Windsor” scandal. The existence of this email prompted the question: Why would the EPA administrator have a secondary email account if not to hide information from the federal record? Moreover, having requested to see the contents of the private emails through the FOIA process, why has the government continued to hide information from the public through copious redaction?
If the EPA is telling the truth about its activities, then why does it continue to stonewall serious investigation attempts? The kind of investigation which relies on hard evidence and not just the word of the accused.