Former EPA chief Lisa P. Jackson went so far as to impersonate a chimerical assistant “Richard Windsor,” according to the latest bizarre twist in the congressional investigation into the agency’s troubled transparency record.
Sen. David Vitter, ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released a new batch of emails Wednesday from Richard Windsor, which was the secondary email Ms. Jackson used to conduct business. Investigators have questioned whether that email address was used to hide records from public view.
But in the latest twist, Ms. Jackson apparently also used the address to pretend to be someone else.
Michael Martin, CEO of sustainability company MusicMatters, emailed asking if “Richard Windsor” could get a message to Ms. Jackson, since she didn’t seem to be responding to her personal email. She responded back as if “Richard Windsor” were another person entirely, promising to have another employee call the next day. “Thanks Richard!” Mr. Martin replied to that email.
Ms. Jackson’s use of the secondary email was revealed last year by researcher Christopher Horner. It has drawn criticism from Republicans who question whether she was searching it when investigators or reporters asked for her emails as part of open-records requests.
The EPA said Ms. Jackson had the secondary email because her main one was published on the agency’s website, and so it was flooded with correspondence.
Democrats on the committee defended Ms. Jackson, saying her predecessors also used secondary addresses to conduct business.
But those who have looked into both instances say the previous EPA administrators’ names still showed up next to the secondary addresses, so it was clear who the message was to or from. Mr. Vitter said pretending to be “Richard Windsor” showed Ms. Jackson used her email in a different way.