Snyder says it’s 'possible' he deleted Flint-related e-mails

May 17, 2016

Governor Rick Snyder now says it’s possible he deleted some e-mails
related to Flint, even though he earlier told a congressional committee
that he had not. The governor still insists it’s unlikely he deleted
any Flint-related e-mails, it’s just not impossible.

“He just doesn’t think he had anything on that topic and that if it
was on that topic, it likely would have been important and probably
would have been retained,” said Ann Heaton, the governor’s press
secretary.

Heaton says the governor misunderstood the question. And when he
answered a question about his e-mails, he was only talking about the
period of time after the state was sued over the Flint water crisis.

“There were e-mails that could have deleted prior to April of 2013,
which is when the litigation hold started, but he doesn’t recall ever
doing so,” she said.

The switch prompted a strong reaction from the ranking Democrat on the
US House Oversight Committee, Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland),
who released this statement:

“The Governor’s written answers to the Committee raise a whole new
set of concerns about the accuracy of his testimony before Congress in
March. We already knew his testimony was misleading when he claimed he
was working closely with the Mayor of Flint—at the same time he was
uttering those words, he was withholding from the Mayor a plan to
address the crisis he had been working on for weeks. Now he has reversed
his sworn testimony before the Committee and admitted that he did in
fact delete some of his emails, and we may never know what they said.
Although he claims he was aware of problems with Flint’s water, he
repeatedly claims that he can’t recall basic information from that
period, and he continues to withhold documents and witnesses from
Congress. Despite Governor Snyder’s repeated promises to be
transparent and accountable and to cooperate with Congress, his actions
are impeding our ability to thoroughly investigate this crisis.”

Anna Heaton says it was a simple mistake that the governor corrected.
She says Cummings’ statement does nothing for the people of Flint.

“Partisan attacks aren’t helping them get follow-up health care, or
blood testing, or clean water,” she said. “It’s just not helpful
going forward and the governor’s going to focus on Flint’s
recovery.”