More missing emails, this time from the EPA, has GOP lawmakers upset

 

McClatchy Washington Bureau

The mystery of the missing government emails has spread to the EPA.

The Environmental Protection Agency is now the second federal agency to tell Congress that it was unable to provide emails to an oversight committee due to a computer problem. This comes after Republicans have already been on the offensive over missing IRS emails.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform this week that some emails from Phil North, a former EPA scientist working at Pebble Mine in Alaska, could not be immediately provided because of difficulties accessing North’s hard drive.

“We are having trouble acquiring the data,” she said.

Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., accused North of using his role within the agency to “unilaterally attempt to preempt the application for a mine.” Issa threatened to hold the agency in contempt.

Issa, along with Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., told McCarthy that the committee had requested to speak with North, but that he had traveled to New Zealand and did not respond.

McCarthy said she did not know of North’s whereabouts, nor could she say whether his computer had crashed, telling lawmakers that the EPA was still working to obtain the emails.

“There are some gaps, but we have already submitted significant amounts,” McCarthy said. “It's not clear how much we might have missed, but we're looking at it.”

Bentivolio was not satisfied.

“What is with bureaucrats and government agencies when this committee is investigating trying to find out about their personal emails or emails on an EPA or a government computer,” he said.

Bentivolio was referring to emails missing from the computer of Lois Lerner, a former IRS official at the center of a scandal that erupted in 2013 over claims that the agency targeted tea party groups for extra scrutiny when applying for tax-exempt status.

Email: jmoritz@mcclatchydc.com

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Japanese pro-wrestler turned politician Kanji "Antonio" Inoki waves as he arrives at the Sunan International Airport, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Inoki is staging a two-day martial arts extravaganza in Pyongyang over the weekend featuring former NFL player Bob "The Beast" Sapp in an oddball attempt at sports diplomacy just as relations between North Korea and Japan are beginning to thaw.

    Japanese lawmaker, ex-NFL lineman in North Korea

    A Japanese pro-wrestler-turned-politician arrived in North Korea with a former NFL lineman and more than a dozen martial artists on Thursday for the first big sports event featuring well-known foreigners since Dennis Rodman's controversial basketball game earlier this year.

  •  
FILE - This Aug. 2, 2014 file photo shows demonstrators protesting at Freedom Plaza in Washington asking President Barack Obama to modify his deportations policies. The White House is crafting a blame-it-on-Congress legal justification to back up President Barack Obama's impending executive actions on immigration. Facing an expect onslaught of opposition, the administration plans to argue that by failing to provide enough resources to fully enforce U.S. laws, lawmakers have ceded wide latitude to White House to prioritize deportations, administration officials and legal experts said. But Republicans, too, are exploring their legal options for stopping Obama from what they’ve deemed an egregious presidential overstep.

    White House preps legal case for immigration steps

    With impeachment threats and potential lawsuits looming, President Barack Obama knows whatever executive actions he takes on immigration will face intense opposition. So as a self-imposed, end-of-summer deadline to act approaches, Obama's lawyers are carefully crafting a legal rationale they believe will withstand scrutiny and survive any court challenges, administration officials say.

  •  
White House press secretary Josh Earnest briefs reporters during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. Earnest started his briefing with a question on Syria.

    On Syria, Obama faces questions on Congress' role

    President Barack Obama faces a familiar question as he contemplates airstrikes in Syria: Should Congress have a say in his decision?

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category