Leahy Asks EPA Inspector General To Investigate Executive Privilege Claim And White House Interference

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday pressed the Inspector General’s office at the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to investigate the President’s purported claims of executive privilege over documents and testimony related to the public health threats of global warming, and possibleWhite House interference with EPA decision-making. 

On Thursday, Leahy canceled a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee after EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson declined the Committee’s invitation to offer testimony at a July 30 hearing.  The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has sought documents and testimony from the EPA and the White House relating to the implementation of laws to address environmental issues, and suspected White House interference with decision making at the EPA, overriding the agency’s scientists by siding with powerful special interests over the health of ordinary Americans.   

In a letter sent Friday, Leahy asked that Deputy Inspector General William Roderick to investigate whether EPA has complied with congressional oversight requests related to the risks of global warming, and whether EPA’s decision with respect to California’s application for a waiver from the Clean Air Act was made in accordance with the technical and legal conclusions of EPA’s own staff, or was the result of improper White House interference.  Leahy also asked that the Inspector General’s office “determine the factual basis for all claims of executive privilege” as they relate to the information that has been withheld from Congress.

The full text of Leahy’s letter follows.  A PDF is also available online.

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