In an interview with Electablog, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) came right out and said it: Flint Governor Rick Snyder “now appears to be openly defying Congress.”
I am extremely concerned that the Governor has not fully cooperated with the Committee’s requests, and he now appears to be openly defying Congress.
Cummings is the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington.
Snyder isn’t providing all of the information asked for, and the committee investigating the water crisis in Flint, Michigan seems more interested in shifting blame from the actual culprits, Snyder’s administration, to the Federal Government and the Environmental Protection Agency.
They also appear to be trying to keep the information provided to the committee the same as the information provided to lawyers for the lawsuit they are fighting due to having foreknowledge of the danger and doing nothing to stop it or alert the public. That would make sense, except the requests from the committee have broader parameters and the Lawyer for Snyder said he “did not even read [the commitees] document requests.”
The Committee’s requests are more comprehensive than the litigants’ requests. We asked for broader topics, search terms, and time frames. But the Governor has only produced to us the same documents he provided to the plaintiffs and the public. The Governor’s lawyer admitted that he did not even read our document request.
Cummings made it clear that the documents the committee did receive,”have gaps in communications that raise serious questions.” The documents only describe a handful of briefings before October 2015. None of the briefings,”after the switch to the Flint River in 2014,” say what solutions were presented to the governor.
Even more glaring is the lack of email correspondences from “multiple email addresses” that the committee knows exist, but the Snyder and his lawyers have refused to present. Snyder is also known to have deleted emails.
The documents are missing many emails and correspondence sent to and from the Governor. By all accounts, Governor Snyder communicated regularly by email, and we now know he used multiple email addresses. Despite our repeated requests, he has refused to provide all of those email addresses. …
The Governor reversed his sworn testimony to the Committee and admitted that he deleted some emails. We may never know what those emails said.
Sadly, the hearings have concluded, even with this lack of cooperation, information and destroyed evidence. Too bad Flint is in Michigan, not Lybia, and the hundreds of children that have been irrevocably damaged by the lead crisis aren’t marines and an ambassador. Republicans would never have let this die.
Cummings wants the committee to finish what it started, to gather the information and learn what actually lead up to the poisoning of Flint’s water, the apparent cover-up that has followed and the complete lack of appropriate response by the Snyder administration and his Department of Environmental Quality. However, without the cooperation of the Governor, that just can’t happen.
The Committee needs to finish what we started and get answers and solutions for the people of Flint. Our investigation into how the lead crisis was caused and the inadequacy of the response can provide some of that, but the Governor has to cooperate.
There is a national lead crisis, as acknowledged by Cummings, who made a strident call for replacing lead pipes throughout the country. He also pointed out, that the “snail’s pace” that Snyder’s administration is replacing lead pipes illustrates that to Snyder, “dollars [are] more valued than people.”
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