The major broadcast networks all ignored on their Monday night newscasts reports that a federal judge ruled earlier in the day that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had lied to Landmark Legal Foundation in responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and warned the agency to cease discriminating against other conservatives.
In a 25-page opinion, Washington D.C.-based Judge Royce C. Lambreth declared that the EPA’s conduct was “suspicious” and showed “apathy and carelessness” in carrying out the multi-year FOIA request.
Judge Lambreth also called on the agency to treat each group requesting information “with equal respect and conscientiousness” but was “not optimistic that the agency has learned anything.”
According to an article in The Washington Times, the case had come about after the EPA had “slow-walked” a request from Lankmark in 2012 looking into “what outside groups EPA officials had been speaking with as they wrote new rules and regulations.”
Here’s more from The Times article on the latest story ignored by the liberal media:
Judge Lamberth described the “absurdity” of the way the EPA handled a Freedom of Information Act request from the Landmark Legal Foundation and then the court case stemming from it — including late last week admitting it lied to the court about how it went about searching for documents.
In a scorching 25-page opinion, the judge accused the agency of “insulting” him by first claiming it had done a full search for records, then years later retracting that claim without any explanation.
“The recurrent instances of disregard that EPA employees display for FOIA obligations should not be tolerated by the agency,” the judge said in a 25-page ruling. “This court would implore the executive branch to take greater responsibility in ensuring that all EPA FOIA requests — regardless of the political affiliation of the requester — are treated with equal respect and conscientiousness.”
The ruling could be seen as a rebuke to President Obama, who took office vowing to run the most transparent administration in history, but who has faced increasing challenges over how he’s lived up to that claim. The EPA in particular has been in a years-long battle with conservative groups who argue the agency has ignored them while playing favorites with liberal groups.
Despite the harsh words toward the EPA, Lamberth determined that Landmark was unable to show that the agency had acted in bad faith on purpose as well as “impose criminal sanctions against the agency.”
Prior to the ruling on Monday morning, CBS This Morning spotlighted the near impossibility of firing federal employees, including an EPA employee who was caught looking at porn while at work back in 2010.