"EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is rejecting a call by top House Democrats to formally scrap an opinion from the agency's top lawyer that limits the authority of an in-house watchdog.
Wheeler's position comes amid intensifying questions about the Trump administration's willingness to accept independent oversight.
In a Friday letter, House Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and two other lawmakers urged Wheeler to revoke EPA General Counsel Matt Leopold's memo concluding that the agency's inspector general lacks the authority to compel agency employees to sit for interviews.
The memo, issued in November, is 'legally deficient,' the lawmakers wrote in the letter. In a January briefing with congressional staff, they added, Leopold appeared to backtrack on many of the memo's claims and refused to say how it was drafted."