Obama White House showed ‘bad faith’ in global-warming case, judge rules

holdrenThe White House showed “bad faith” in how it handled an open records request for global warming data, a federal court ruled Monday, issuing yet another stinging rebuke to the administration for showing a lack of transparency.

For President Obama, who vowed to run the most transparent government in U.S. history, Judge Amit P. Mehta’s ruling granting legal discovery in an open records case — the third time this year a judge has ordered discovery — is an embarrassing black eye.

In this most recent case, the Competitive Enterprise Institute was trying to force the White House office of science and technology policy to release documents backing up Director John C. Holdren’s finding that global warming was making winters colder — a claim disputed by climate scientists.

Mr. Holdren’s staffers first said they couldn’t find many documents. They then tried to hide their release by saying the documents were all internal or were similar to what was already public.

Each of those claims turned out not to be true.

“At some point, the government’s inconsistent representations about the scope and completeness of its searches must give way to the truth-seeking function of the adversarial process, including the tools available through discovery. This case has crossed that threshold,” the judge wrote.

Discovery is considered exceedingly rare in Freedom of Information Act cases because the government is given the benefit of the doubt in claiming it has tried to search for and release documents. But in three cases this year, judges have called the Obama administration’s efforts into question, finding severe oversights that suggest “bad faith.”

Both of the other cases involve the State Department’s handling of former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s emails — a situation that spawned dozens of lawsuits when everyone from reporters to the Republican National Committee sought to get a look at the files of the potential Democratic presidential nominee.

The latest twist in those cases came Monday when court documents said the State Department has been unable to find emails from Bryan Pagliano, the department staffer who reportedly set up and maintained Mrs. Clinton’s secret email server at her home in New York. It’s unclear whether he didn’t send any messages or whether the State Department missed them, or somehow expunged them.

In the office of science and technology policy’s case, conservative activists are trying to figure out why agency Director John P. Holdren declared in a video on the White House website that global warming was causing more severe winters. Scientists generally disagree with that finding.

The office of science and technology policy now claims it’s just Mr. Holdren’s opinion, so there is no need to correct the record or take down the video. But after the Competitive Enterprise Institute asked for documents related to his claim, the agency repeatedly botched its duty under the law to search for and provide those documents, according to Judge Mehta.

Initially the office said it found just 11 pages of documents, none of which included drafts of the director’s final conclusions. Later, the office acknowledged that it found 47 pages of drafts but tried to withhold them, claiming they were protected from release because they were seen only within the administration.

“Both of those impressions turned out to be mistaken,” Judge Mehta said.

The office of science and technology policy then said there were 52 total pages of drafts, that only one person outside the administration saw a draft and that document was similar to what the office had already produced.

“All three of those impressions also turned out to be mistaken,” Judge Mehta wrote, adding in a footnote that he was troubled by the government’s statements that misled the court.

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Comments (2)

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    The depth of fundamental corruption in the Obama Administration is staggering. Again, the arrogance and defiance…

    The Obamas have recently announced that they will make their next home in DC, ostensibly to see their children through high school there. What are the coincidental chances DC is also the perfect location for a Climate Change Industry insider and future CEO?

    Watch as B.O. enriches himself within the corrupt crony system he is now establishing.

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    David Lewis


    [quote name=”GR82DRV”]The depth of fundamental corruption in the Obama Administration is staggering. [/quote]

    GR82DRV you are right. History will show that the Obama Administration is the most corrupt of all past presidents, bar none.

    If they can’t find the documents supporting Director John C. Holdren’s finding that global warming was making winters colder, then they have no business releasing these findings.

    This reminds me of an article once published in Scientific American by a researcher who claimed his “scientific” research showed that gun control would save lives. However, his methods and data were secret. He said I’m the scientist so you need to trust me. At least he was honest about keeping the basis for his research secret and unlike the Obama administration wasn’t claiming to have lost the research.

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