In a story that will not be reported by the liberal media, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) sent a letter Thursday to Attorney General (AG) Loretta Lynch requesting that the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “knowingly and willfully violated and are continuing to knowingly and willfully violate 31 U.S.C. 1341(a) in its ‘covert propaganda’ and grass roots lobbying campaign to promote the agency’s rules defining ‘Waters of the United States (WOTUS).’”
Sen. Inhofe has opposed WOTUS from the start, warning that it is an "unprecedented land grab" by the EPA, in which it claims the power to seize control of the smallest bodies of water, likes streams, on private property.
Inhofe and Sasse cite the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) conclusion that the EPA violated Section 1341 of the Antideficiency Act, which "prohibits employees of the U.S. government from spending any money not authorized by Congress":
The GAO finds:
As explained below, we conclude that EPA violated the described provisions through its use of social media in association with its rulemaking efforts to define “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA) during FYs 2014 and 2015. Because EPA obligated and expended appropriated funds in violation of statutory prohibitions, we also conclude that EPA violated the Antideficiency Act, 31 U.S.C. § 1341(a)(1)(A), as the agency’s appropriations were not available for these prohibited purposes.
Senator Inhofe and Sasse conclude by calling on Attorney General Lynch to conduct "a thorough and independent" criminal investigation of the EPA:
Given EPA’s continuing violations, and cavalier attitude displayed by EPA public affairs staff and Department of Justice line attorneys, we request the Department of Justice immediately investigate whether a criminal violation of the Antideficiency Act has taken place. Only a thorough and independent investigation can determine whether a crime has occurred.
For the full letter to the Attorney General, click here