[Emails are now available online - see below]
After First admitting to Jackson’s false identity, EPA pretends it doesn’t exist
So much for we have nothing to hide.
In EPA’s first production of Lisa Jackson’s secondary or “alias” email account traffic in what is now known as the “Richard Windsor” FOIA lawsuit, EPA has apparently decided to not search Richard Windsor account(s).
That is, EPA seemingly is pretending — to the court, as well as Congress and the American taxpayer — that the Windsor account doesn’t exist. That’s the one they previously acknowledged exists. The one they claimed was used for internal correspondence (at least, certain internal correspondence).
The only other reasonable interpretation of EPA’s deliberately phrased position is that Jackson used Richard Windsor for all of her correspondence to Agency staff. As this is readily disproved, it is fair to read EPA’s position as deciding to not acknowledge the previously acknowledged Windsor account as a Jackson secondary or alias account. They are choosing to not search it in CEI v. EPA seeking certain emails to or from her secondary or “alias” accounts. This is troubling.
True, in the emailed news clippings constituting EPA’s promised, first delivery of “approximately 3,000” emails — falling far short of its promise to the court, by scraping up only “over 2,100 emails” — EPA incredibly redacted the name that appears in the “Sent” box to hide which account Jackson’s produced mail comes from.
More on that blunder, possibly committed to hide the fact they aren’t searching Windsor’s account, momentarily. First, here is how we can be pretty sure the Agency is pretending — to the court, mind you — that the Windsor account they previously admitted was Jackson’s now actually doesn’t exist. If it does, well, it somehow isn’t an alias account. It’s apparently just a false identity.
First, EPA states in its cover letter to me that Jackson only has one such account: “As you are aware” — with no support for how we know this, which we do not — “the Administrator uses one secondary official account to conduct EPA business.” (Hmmm. “Uses”. Yes I imagine she is not using “Windsor” anymore. Is this another game of “There is not a sexual relationship — that is accurate”?)
But, ok, got it, there is only one non-public, or secondary or alias account. Next, recall EPA’s spin when “Richard Windsor” was revealed: “‘For more than a decade, EPA Administrators have been assigned two official, government-issued email accounts: a public account and an internal account,’ the EPA said in a statement in response to the House [Science] committee’s letters [Specifically asking about Richard Windsor]. ‘The internal account is an everyday, working email account of the Administrator to communicate with staff and other government officials.’”
The inescapable, obviously intentional implication was that Richard Windsor is a Jackson secondary account. And they say she only has one, after acknowledging that Jackson owned the Richard Windsor account (explaining its origin being a combination of her pet’s name and the town in which she once lived). So the reasonable conclusion, implied by EPA’s statements and actions, is that they searched the Richard Windsor account. Which they also thereby imply was her sole secondary or alias account to correspond with all EPA employees. Which she demonstrably did not.
But EPA dug much deeper than this with yesterday’s production: possibly to obscure that they have chosen to not search the Windsor account, they redacted the name on the account from which they produced all of this chaff (clippings from left-leaning newspapers and blogs about the Agency, provided in her official packet, and Google alerts about herself, which she had to arrange for herself outside of the protective courtiers).
To do so, EPA cited an exemption that “protects information about individuals in ‘personnel and medical files and similar files’” — well, her name is in her personnel, and her medical files! So of course they always redact her name, too? Absurd reading of the law — “when the disclosure of such information ‘would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” (emphasis added).
By associating the latter condition with Richard Windsor, or whatever address EPA searched and blacked out, you see EPA confusing some Agency ‘privacy’ they sought to create in a public position, with personal privacy, e.g., information about medical conditions, etc. (So Richard Windsor is a medical condition; we are still working on a cure, it obviously is resistant to treatment).
But the confusion is even greater and clumsier than it first appears. I have a the few copies of other email from Jackson’s secondary account, from which EPA similarly redacted her address, deciding at that time to instead claim an entirely different excuse, that her non-public account’s address (whatever it was) “related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency” and “the disclosure of which would risk circumvention of a legal requirement.”
Both efforts represent stretches, to be kind. But the lack of agreement within EPA as to how they might be able to get away with hiding her secondary email address (whichever one it is), or now to avoid revealing which one they really are searching after creating serous doubt about that, speaks volumes.
Yet there’s more.
Not only can EPA not decide what the reason is for hiding the administrator’s secondary account — which is almost certainly a different one, notwithstanding EPA’s odd spin that Jackson only had one. EPA has also already proved that Richard Windsor’s name does not need to be hidden from taxpayers under the law; when they released it to a left-wing group they didn’t deem it unduly personal when producing emails in response to a request for a certain class of correspondence. That is: Richard Windsor’s name is not something they need to withhold.
The body of information suggests that, for purposes of the Richard Windsor lawsuit, EPA has simply chosen to search only Jackson’s traditional “secondary” account — when asked for certain email from her secondary or alias accounts, ignoring that Windsor is indeed an alias — and take their chances both tempting the court and that they can kick scrutiny of whatever Windsor was up to with Jackson’s closest allies down the road.
That is, someone apparently has decided that they are worse off revealing the content of what Windsor was up to than getting exposed as obviously having plenty to hide.
In sum, yesterday’s production indicates the Agency has decided to bunker-down and effectively pretend the Windsor account that it previously admitted to and implied was just another “secondary account” doesn’t actually exist. Either that, or Jackson really did use Richard Windsor as her nom de plume for all internal Agency correspondence including throughout the Agency’s ranks.
In which case all of those who professed surprise at the revelation are actually the ones weaving the tangled web of deception. You can decide which is true. But first consider one more item of evidence: I can prove Jackson used an account not in the name of Richard Windsor to correspond with EPA employees.
In fact, she regularly proved it but even on the very day the Richard Windsor exemplars were published on the Daily Caller. Then, EPA’s general counsel — and Jackson’s deputy administrator at the time the false identity was created — Scott Fulton, resigned. Jackson announced this in an email to employees. Like every other email to employees my sources in the Agency have provided me or can recall, it did not come from Richard Windsor.
It appears that EPA is trying a clever straddle of saying — without stating — that they do not consider the Richard Windsor account(s) an official secondary account. So, what is it? I have established through screen shots from within the Agency that she had the Windsor account installed on three computers. And she used it for corresponding with her inner circle of poiticals.
EPA’s presently operative position is apparently to not view Richard Windsor as a secondary account. They’re viewing it as a false identity. They made up a person, to install that person’s email account on her computers.
Richard Windsor is a false identity. EPA’s position to the court, squared with their often studiously deliberate statements and facts in the record, is deeply troubling.
See for yourself. The emails at: http://cei.org/sites/default/files/EPA_First_Jackson_FOIA_Production_1_14_2013.pdf