Congressman Elija Cummings is well known the conservative world as the serial thorn in the side of Trey Gowdy during the Hillary email investigation. We wonder whether he might be more appropriately employed as a rodeo clown. This week he’s entertained us with a charge that the EPA has initiated a secret program designed to obfuscation the response to FOIA requests. The trouble with the charge is doubling confusing. First, the program, called FEAT, was designed actually speed up responses to FOIA requests. And second, it was an Obama program. But facts never bother Cummings in his effort to charge the Trump administration with something nefarious.
Here’s more from Hot Air…
On Friday evening there was a story at Politico which didn’t seem to gain much traction, what with all of the Trump activity going on. Congressman Elija Cummings (D-Md) is the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee and he’s demanding that committee chair Trey Gowdy issue a subpoena to the EPA over their handling of both FOIA submissions and requests from Congress for documents, saying that Scott Pruitt’s administration was “screening” requests based on political sensitivity. (More background coverage available at Government Executive.) These were all part of a skyrocketing number of such requests the EPA has received under the Trump administration, but we’ll have more on that below. So what was this new, secret program to allow the EPA to “screen” incoming requests?
Hot Air has received a copy of both Cummings’ letter to the EPA as well as the response sent to Cummings this weekend from Kevin Minoli, EPA’s Principal Deputy General Counsel and Designated Ethics Official. First, let’s have a look at the introductory portion of Cummings letter and what he’s clearly implying with his demand for a subpoena.
I am writing to request that you issue a subpoena to compel the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to produce documents it has failed to produce about policies implemented by ousted Administrator Scott Pruitt to withhold information about his tenure in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.