Issa Subpoenas EPA for Docs Held Up by White House Review

Published: Nov 8, 2013

WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., today subpoenaed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy for documents and communications with White House officials related to the Agency’s response to congressional requests. Those documents include correspondence among Administrator McCarthy, former Administrator Lisa Jackson (under her alias ‘Richard Windsor’), and other high-ranking EPA officials.

The Committee initially sought the documents in an April 10, 2013 joint request by Chairman Issa and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member David Vitter, R-La.

“Six months have passed since Senator Vitter and I wrote your Agency seeking documents related to our ongoing investigations of EPA activities,” Issa explained in a letter sent to Administrator McCarthy in conjunction with the subpoena. “Given the EPA’s continued lack of cooperation, I am left with no choice but to issue a subpoena to compel the production of documents relevant to the Committee’s oversight obligations.”

The letter also detailed new evidence that EPA was ready to respond to the April 10th request in early June, but failed to do so after consulting with the White House.

A heavily redacted June 13, 2013 e-mail produced in response to a FOIA request from the non-profit group Cause of Action shows EPA Acting Principal Deputy General Counsel, Kevin Minoli, writing to White House Special Assistant to the President, Daniel Dominguez, seeking White House input on the response.

Mr. Minoli wrote, “Folks here would like to send up a second set of documents in response to the attachment to the Issa/Vitter April 10th letter that has a list of 106 documents they want in unredacted form.” Click here to view a copy of the email.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has obtained some information about the 106 documents EPA sent to the White House for review. This table shows the sender, recipient, date and subject for all 106 e-mails.

Chairman Issa’s letter to Administrator McCarthy can be viewed here. The schedule of Chairman Issa’s subpoena is enclosed below:

  1. All documents and communications between and among employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and employees of the Executive Office of the President, including, but not limited to, the White House Office and the Office of Management and Budget, referring or relating to congressional requests for information.
  2. All documents identified in the Addendum to Request 4 attached to the April 10, 2013, letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Ranking Member David Vitter, a copy of which is attached hereto.