EPA Doubles Down on ‘Richard Windsor’ Stonewall

US EPA Sinking LogoGuest post by Chris Horner

[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

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43 thoughts on “EPA Doubles Down on ‘Richard Windsor’ Stonewall

  1. An internal EPA Inspector General investigation will find no wrongdoing… they learned their procedures from Holder’s Justice Dept. queries into “Fast and Furious”.

  2. Tick tick tick…Someone is going down and I bet it won’t be the people at the top. When the court sees this look out below!

  3. Seriously,

    I hope the judge scrolled through that entire file of emails then picked up the phone and ordered the EPA back into court to face contempt charges.

  4. One wonders whether the EPA is following their attorneys advice. Does not seem that they could be. Perhaps they never asked an attorney.

  5. Problem as the government becomes more and more powerful… they become less and less accountable to anything short of civil war. Which is why socialism is always destined to fail

  6. Hopefully the US courts are robust enough to remind these people (with findings of contempt if needed) that no-one, not even government, is above the law. If not then it’s a dark day indeed for one of the world’s great democracies.

  7. “…to clearly identify the records as being to or from the Administrator.” That was one of the reasons given for redacting the name on the email account. Yes. That is how it works in the EPA apparently. To clearly identify the source or destination of an email they redact the sender and receivers names. This flight of fanciful doublespeak eclipses both Alice in Wonderland and 1984. Integrity is just a game for these people. Surely there is a judge in the land who has the sense to protect the authority of the court and cut through the baffle-gab to hold this bunch of weasels to account. Benjamin Jowett is known for having said “doubt comes in at the window when inquiry is barred at the door.” These people think they have something to hide. Get a judge interested in finding out what they are trying to hide.

    Isn’t it interesting how stupid people can become when they seek to obfuscate without any regard for truth, logic, honesty or even reality. Imagine catching your 3 year old with his hand in the cookie jar screaming out “I didn’t do it”. That’s how infantile this response is to the court order. Success here depends upon showing a judge that these people are actually spitting in the court’s face with this nonsense. If the judge sees that his authority has been spurned you will have no better friend in getting to the bottom of this matter.

  8. If this was taking place in an executive organization during a Republican administration the MSM lead by the NYTimes, WaPo and MSNBC would be on this like pit bulls. How sad for our country.

  9. I’m having a hard time wrapping my admittedly not very many IQ points around this. BUt I’m very glad you guys are on the job, as I’m at least getting the gist. If they’re not conforming with a court order, isn’t that contempt of court? Can this be presented to a judge who can make an adjudication of some sort?

  10. “Someone(s) in the EPA need to spend serious jail time for contempt of court.”

    Absolutely! This is contemptible fraud! Start with Lisa Jackson first, and the network administrator second. Eric Holder should be in the mix somewhere as well.

  11. Chris, do you have to take this lying down? Can’t you have a judge look at the emails before they are redacted. I’m not surprised that they would try some tricks, although it seems risky doing it to the CEI.

  12. “We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. – J Robert Oppenheimer.

  13. This administration also doesn’t recognize that budgets exist, that debt can be the downfall of a nation, that running guns to Mexico will have deadly consequences, and that terrorism is a real rather than an imaginary problem–even when it costs the lives of an ambassador and other Americans. They live in LaLa Land, and that comparison is an unfortunate slight to LaLa Land.

    What amazes me is that the majority of Americans don’t seem to understand or care.

  14. There is an entire realm of government-employee activists who should be spending serious time in jail.

  15. Obviously they feel they only have to give the appearance of compliance. They may have the court in their pocket, or the promise of a shield from the administration. I don’t have much faith that the truth will see the light of day. We gave the agency powers above the law, so we shouldn’t be surprised when they act like they are above the law.

  16. No more than a typical reaction from a bloated bureaucracy contemptuous of: i) the law, ii) the concept of transparency, and iii) the tax holders who fund it.

    A clean out of this Augean Stable is long overdue.

  17. Well, among the “lisa jackson epa” Google Alert emails sent to the redacted “Administrator (b)(6)” recipient is the one on page 1253 about a comment ( http://climateaudit.org/2010/01/30/epa-response-to-comments/#comment-218753 ) within ClimateAudit’s Jan 30, 2010 blog “EPA Response to Comments”. More results for Steve follow that – do a word search for “McIntyre”.

    Anthony Watts’ name first appears among those “lisa jackson epa” Google Alert emails starting at page 1275, and the Heartland Institute appears on 3443 (which also mentions on that same page Steve’s keynote speaker appearance at the 2010 ICCC. Hopefully, Anthony and Steve and many more skeptics have been living rent-free in Ms Jackson’s mind for quite a while….

  18. Russell Cook (@questionAGW) says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:13 am


    Hopefully, Anthony and Steve and many more skeptics have been living rent-free in Ms Jackson’s mind for quite a while….

    “Rent-free”, perhaps, but I hope they’ve been making a major mess of that mind. Mmmmm….?

  19. temp says:
    January 15, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Problem as the government becomes more and more powerful… they become less and less accountable to anything short of civil war. Which is why socialism is always destined to fail
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It is why the Founding Fathers emphasized the Rule of Law instead of the Rule of Man. It is also why Thomas Jefferson said ” The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. “

    Too bad the people in the District of Criminals never bother reading history or even reading the papers or the Constitution they have sworn to uphold. A recent Gallop poll shows that Democrats have been the fastest growing purchasers of firearms. Democratic gun ownership has gone from 30% in 2009 to 40% in 2011 closing the gap with Republicans who stand at 55%. link

    Obama of course is mulling over how to remove those guns without going through Congress.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, my understanding is the Vice President is going to provide a range of steps that we can take to reduce gun violence. Some of them will require legislation. Some of them I can accomplish through executive action. And so I’ll be reviewing those today. And as I said, I’ll speak in more detail to what we’re going to go ahead and propose later in the week.

    But I’m confident that there are some steps that we can take that don’t require legislation and that are within my authority as President. And where you get a step that has the opportunity to reduce the possibility of gun violence then I want to go ahead and take it.
    link

    If the President wants to do something useful, instead of circumventing the Constitution he should start cleaning house in the bureaucracies he is supposed to oversee! THAT is his job.

  20. Oh yes I am sure they just setup the Richard Windsor account to read google news stories about themselves!

    Where is the bullshit button when you need it, anyone can see through this.

  21. Pretty BIG stuff. This cynic believes there is so much damning content, involving so many, in the Richard Windsor e-mails that they cannot be allowed to become public.
    No matter who goes down by preventing them from being released it will be far less damaging.
    It’s not bizarre to assume that even other agency heads are at risk. Energy, the AG?

    They earned everything they got?

  22. About 4400 of the 4405 pages are simply round-ups of the daily Washington Post, major blogs, Google searches, press cutting services, etc. Although sent from the Administrator, these are in no sense her own words, just automated robotic daily missives no doubt ignored in bulk by all recipients.

  23. Lying, cheating, fraud purveying, corrupt Obamunists !!!
    Adequate words fail me, until my anger can be redirected yet again into constructive action to bring these scum to justice…
    MtK

  24. Nick de Cusa says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Nick,
    The only reference I found to ‘Richard Windsor – EPA’ on Yahoo News was (ironically) this:
    Update on ‘Richard Windsor’ – EPA Email Release …
    CEI’s Chris Horner Says Agency Has ‘Gone Bunker’ Over Growing Richard Windsor Scandal By Brian McNicoll Washington, D.C., January 14, 2013 – At about 4:55 p.m …
    wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/14/update-on-ricahrd-windsor… – Cached

    WUWT IS the only breaking news source on the continuing EPA fraud and corruption scandal!
    MtK

  25. Stonewalling, delaying tactics, lies. The EPA & the Offal Office have more people, time, money, and power than do you Mr Horner, plus you are playing by the rules – they are not. They shall win.

  26. If the court and IGs do nothing on this then the major lesson learned is that FOIA is for the rest of us and not them! Where are the FOIA advocates today?

  27. All exasperatingly familiar stuff. In terms of FoI in the UK – our wannabe EPA = The Environment Agency have a track record that doesn’t cover them in glory.

    In our case they repeatedly “misheard” as in ignored our requests for named documents for almost a year, indeed claimed some had been destroyed or never existed. They withheld pivotal information in a High Court case. They were investigated and castigated by the UK Information Commissioner but the conniving, foot dragging and lies got them a partial result at court. The “non existent” documents were “found” and the “asked for but ignored” documents were supplied – after the court hearing.

    The story of Al Armindiraz and his hoopla resonates strongly. Weird thing is – the conniving, dishonest, power mad, intrigue ridden doings of the UK Environment Agency were all about how to do down a showpiece GREEN project!.

    Out of control bureaucrats – dotcha just love ‘em?

    Good luck with FoI’ing the EPA – you’re gonna need it – and some sharp teeth….

  28. “If this was taking place in an executive organization during a Republican administration the MSM lead by the NYTimes, WaPo and MSNBC would be on this like pit bulls.”

    During the Bush administration the ACCUSATION of this was sufficient to become a “scandal”.

  29. They’ve stripped out all the links, because otherwise the links to manage/unsubscribe from these alerts and subscriptions could give away the actual email account used.

    However, go to page 1460 of 4405 and one of the WaPo news alerts has come through in clear text with all the links. Not getting anything with them atm but there might be something here.

  30. “…the name on this @epa.gov account has been redacted pursuant to Exemption 6 Personal Privacy and marked Administrator in order to preserve the ongoing utility of the email account…

    eh? If its an EPA account, and that is acknowledged in the previous sentence, where does the “personal” aspect come in, and why “preserve the utility of the email account”? Everybody knows about Richard Windsor, and she’s GONE!? So WHO is requiring its ongoing utility?

    Is the USA already gone to hell in a handcart…or still on that journey?

  31. In case anyone is wondering, Richard Windsor is absolutely a real email address. The scribd account above lists a set of emails FOIA’d by the Center for Progressive Reform. They were attempting to put pressure on the EPA and White House, and in doing so, revealed Richard Windsor’s name. As you can see, “Richard” replies to a discussion among the top personnel at the EPA and the White House. Lisa Jackson is not in that email thread.

    So when a progressive group wants emails, they get full access.

    When Mr. Horner wants them, he’s told they don’t exist.

  32. On 12/11/2009 03:05 PM EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson signed & sent a memorandum to all EPA employees entitled: ” A Week to Remember”. (page 2755 of the pdf)

    It includes this (page 2756):

    “We have much work left to do. We are off and running on our far-reaching efforts to reduce
    greenhouse emissions, grow the clean energy economy, and free ourselves from our dependence
    on foreign oil”

    Here “We” is clearly the EPA, but does EPA have any authority over the US oil’s strategy, seems far from their remit. I’d also question if it’s their responsibility to “grow the clean energy economy”.

    Neither of those actions seem to fall into the EPA’s mission.

    http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/whatwedo.html

    Was this legal for Lisa P. Jackson to use EPA time and assets to push agenda items outside the EPA mission?

  33. If a government agency cannot be controlled and cannot abide the law, it must be cut out as the cancer it is. Defunding is the last resort.

    Given that we’re borrowing 40%, there’s a whole lot of DC to be defunded. I think the best thing we can hope for is simply to let the debt ceiling stand, shut things down, and only restart what can be afforded. It pains me to say that, but given how the entire government is behaving, being sent to their room without dinner looks like the only option.

  34. Corruption under Obama is a protected species.
    As long as the crook at the top of Government is protecting them (remember Obama suddenly invoked Confidentiality over the documents of Holder’s killing of more than 200 in Mexico, and two border agents here, and all the press had to say was a collective yawn, nothing will happen.
    We need House prosecutors with balls, not the wimps we got now.
    In the meantime, the EPA is probably not only the must useless, but also the most expensive (in terms of regulations written) government organization.
    Defunding it is the best first step, then nail them for the endemic corruption.

    .

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