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, is charging 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 agency has since cracked down on coal pollution.
“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. His show is carried in Washington on WMAL. “The EPA has to learn that you can’t save the planet by destroying the rule of law,” he added.
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.
The agency told Secrets that it is reviewing the Landmark filing. The "EPA is strongly committed to transparency and the strict compliance with open government laws such as the Freedom of Information Act. The agency will review the motion filed today, as a part of ongoing litigation with Landmark, and will respond accordingly," said a spokesperson.
Lamberth 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 from EPA lawyers, Levin on Thursday 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.
Levin added: “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.”Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.