EPA charged with destroying emails to aid Obama re-election

BY: Paul Bedard July 25, 2014 | 10:00 am

Conservative talker Mark Levin’s legal unit, in a battle with the Environmental Protection Agency over allegations it delayed politically damaging regulatory moves until after President Obama’s reelection, has charged that agency big shots are destroying key emails and texts to hide those efforts.

In the latest twist of his suit dating to August 2012, Levin’s Landmark Legal Foundation asked a federal judge to punish the EPA “for destroying or failing to preserve emails and text messages that may have helped document suspected agency efforts to influence the 2012 presidential election.”

Landmark cited news reports before the election that indicated the agency was putting off unpopular regulations until after the president won his contest with Republican Mitt Romney.

“The EPA is a toxic waste dump for lawlessness and disdain for the Constitution,” said Levin, one of the nation’s most popular conservative talk show hosts.

The EPA has fought Levin’s demand for emails and texts from government and private email accounts of top officials, including former Administrator Lisa Jackson. But Federal District Judge Royce Lamberth has sided with Landmark.

He recently allowed Landmark to interview top EPA officials, including Jackson, who admitted using private email to conduct government business, a bureaucratic no-no. Lamberth also ordered the EPA to come clean with the emails and texts.

But after months of inaction by EPA lawyers, Levin last week asked Lamberth to sanction the agency, believing they are destroying or withholding key emails and texts. “The EPA cannot be trusted,” Landmark said in a 38-page court filing.

The EPA told Secrets it is reviewing Landmark’s charges.



The chairman of the Federal Election Commission lashed out at Democratic colleagues opposed to his effort to protect conservative media after they imposed limits last week on the publisher of Rep. Paul Ryan's new book, opening the door to future book regulations — or even a ban.

“By failing to affirm this publisher’s constitutional right, statutory right, to disseminate a political book free from FEC conditions and regulations, we have effectively asserted regulatory jurisdiction over a book publisher,” warned Chairman Lee E. Goodman, one of three Republicans on the six-person FEC.

Democratic Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub immediately shot back, “No one is banning books.”

The publisher of the Republican’s forthcoming “The Way Forward” sought freedom to promote the book on Ryan’s reelection political action committee web site. The Democrats, however, demanded and won limits on Ryan’s PR. They also imposed rules on the publisher instead of granting Grand Central Publishing the sweeping “media exemption” the press operates under.

A frustrated Goodman said, “This commission should stand up and recognize that books qualify for the media exemption and that book publishers can publish, market and disseminate their books on the same basis that the Washington Post, New York Times and Washington Examiner can.”



Being president is probably the fastest way to go gray and now President Obama is fessing up to reality.

After a fundraising speech in San Francisco last week, he stopped to chat with his pool of reporters and photographers and poked fun at his graying locks.

“You are,” he said, “chronicling the slow deterioration of Barack Obama.”



Physically ailing Bob Dole has stepped back on to the political stage to attack Obamacare and the two other major scandals plaguing the Obama White House, the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups and the Veterans Affairs medical mess.

In a campaign ad for Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins released on his 91st birthday last week, Dole voiced his concern about the issues.

“America faces big challenges. The IRS and VA scandals. Medicare in trouble and Obamacare making things worse,” said the Kansan.



You can thank first lady Michelle Obama for those extra empty water bottles in the office recycle bin.

That's because she is getting -- and taking -- credit for a $1 million surge in bottled water sales, all due to her “Drink Up” campaign to get Americans to shift from soda to plain water.

“When the Drink Up campaign was launched last year, it had one simple goal – to get kids and families excited about drinking water,” the first lady said. “And today, less than a year later, we know that water sales jumped nearly three percent among people who saw Drink Up ads.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

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