Conservative talk radio host Mark Levin’s legal foundation is asking a federal judge to sanction the Environmental Protection Agency for destroying public records.
The Landmark Legal Foundation asked federal District Judge Royce Lamberth to sanction the EPA for the destruction of emails and text messages concerning the delay of large new environmental regulations until after the 2012 election.
The request is part of an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in 2012 by the Landmark Legal Foundation against the EPA for records on the delay.
As reported by the Washington Post, the Obama administration delayed many potentially unpopular regulations until after the contentious 2012 presidential election.
Landmark Legal Foundation says the EPA ignored its obligations under federal records law to preserve text messages and private emails from former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson about the delays.
Jackson testified that she used her government-issued Blackberry and personal email account to communicate with other public officials about government business, but the EPA "undertook no effort to secure potentially responsive emails from the administrator’s personal email account, even though EPA states in its own litigation hold memorandum that every email on a personal email account should be preserved even if it is forwarded to another account," according to Landmark’s court filing.
"The EPA is a toxic waste dump for lawlessness and disdain for the Constitution," Landmark president Levin said in a statement. "When any federal agency receives a FOIA request, the statute says it must preserve every significant repository of records, both paper and electronic, that may contain materials that could be responsive to that request. When an agency gets sued it must also notify everyone who might be involved in the suit to preserve everything in their possession that could be discoverable in the litigation. But the people at the EPA, from the administrator on down, think they’re above the law, that no one has the right to question what or how they do their jobs. Well, they’re wrong. The laws apply to everyone, even federal bureaucrats."
In a statement, an EPA spokesperson said the agency "is strongly committed to transparency and the strict compliance with open government laws such as the Freedom of Information Act."