Rep. Paul A. Gosar, (R-Az.) is leading an effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach Gina McCarthy, the scandal-plagued administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for providing false and misleading testimony before several House panels that oversee environmental policy. Jurisdiction for the impeachment by the House comes from the Constitution of the U.S., and is based on the allegation of the commission of “high crimes and misdemeanors against the U.S.”
President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House in 1999, but his conviction was not secured in the Senate. This impeachment proceeding for McCarthy is early stage — articles have only been drafted. No hearings have been held yet, nor votes taken by Congress. “Perjury before Congress is perjury to the American people and an affront to the fundamental principles of our Republic and the rule of law. Such behavior cannot be tolerated. My legislation will hold Administrator McCarthy accountable for her blatant deceptions and unlawful conduct,” said Rep. Gosar, in a statement, obtained by Somewhat Reasonable. “Under Administrator McCarthy’s direction, the EPA continues to enact job-killing regulations that increase food prices and energy costs for hard-working American families. Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost as a result of these new mandates, which disproportionately impact the poor. This should be concerning enough, but to make matters worse, these regulations are not based on science and are being imposed through lies to Congress and the American people. We must hold D.C. bureaucrats accountable when they commit perjury or make false statements in order to implement President Obama’s misguided agenda.”
Articles of Impeachment Drafted
The preliminary text of Congressman Gosar’s legislation can be found HERE. According to the Congressman, Administrator McCarthy committed perjury and made several false statements at multiple congressional hearings, and as a result, is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors—an impeachable offense. The transgressions are enumerated as follows in the draft articles of impeachment:
• On July 9, 2015, Administrator McCarthy appeared before the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology and made false statements in violation of section 1001 of title 18, United States Code. When questioned on how a provision in the administration’s new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule was developed which allows previously non-jurisdictional waters to be regulated if they have a “significant nexus” to jurisdictional waters within 4,000 feet, McCarthy falsely claimed, “It is available in the docket…and that’s what we relied on, both the knowledge and expertise of our staff, the information that we received from the public and comments and the science that’s available to us.” An April 27th memo to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, from Major General John Peabody, proves that this was a false statement.
• On July 29, 2015, Administrator McCarthy appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and committed perjury in violation of section 1621 of title 18, United States Code. At the hearing, Congressman Gosar entered into the Congressional Record the April 27th and May 15th memorandums from Corps’ Major General Peabody. These memos include remarks that directly contradict statements made under oath by Administrator McCarthy at the hearing including: that Gen. Peabody and other Army Corps employees had “serious concerns about certain aspects of the draft final rule”; that “the Corps’ recommendations related to our most serious concerns have gone unaddressed”; that “the rule’s contradictions with legal principles generate multiple legal and technical consequences that, in the view of the Corps, would be fatal to the rule in its current form”; that “our technical review of both documents indicate that the Corps data provided to EPA has been selectively applied out of context, and mixes terminology and disparate data sets”; and that “In the Corps’ judgment, the documents contain numerous inappropriate assumptions with no connection to the data provided, misapplied data, analytical deficiencies, and logical inconsistencies. As a result, the Corps’ review could not find a justifiable basis in the analysis for many of the documents’ conclusions.”
• On February 4, 2015, Administrator McCarthy appeared at a joint hearing before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and made false statements in violation of section 1001 of title 18, United States Code. When answering questions about Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations, McCarthy stated, “Again, we are not expanding jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, we are not eliminating any exemptions or exclusions in this proposal, we are in fact narrowing the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act consistent with sound science and the law.” However, information on the EPA’s website states, “a very small number of additional waters — 3.2 percent — will be found jurisdictional and an EPA video released with the final rule claims that “until now 60% over our streams and millions of acres of wetlands all across the country were not protected.” The Peabody memos—previously mentioned—document very well that the new WOTUS regulation is not based on “sound science.” Further, numerous legal experts, including Federal Judge Erickson, have alleged that WOTUS is not consistent with the law and Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Rapanos.
This article first appeared on Somewhat Reasonable, the policy and commentary blog of the Heartland Institute.
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