Happy to Comply With the "Freedom From Releasing Information Act," Though
Like Vegas, what happens in the White House’s remarkably troubled email system, stays there–FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) be damned.
A federal judge today ruled that the White House Office of Administration doesn’t have to release documents that might explain how 5 million to 10 million emails went missing from the White House archives. In a 39-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said the Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and is therefore not required to comply with FOIA requests.
Did I mention that the Office of Administration routinely complied with such requests from 1980 until August 2007, when it suddenly reconsidered the practice?
Suffice to say, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the group seeking information on the missing emails, was disappointed by Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling. “The Bush administration is using the legal system to prevent the American people from discovering the truth about the millions of missing White House emails,” CREW’s executive director Melanie Sloan said in a statement. “The fact is, until CREW asked for documents pertaining to this problem, the Office of Administration routinely processed FOIA requests. Only because the administration has so much to hide here, has the White House taken the unprecedented position that OA is not subject to the FOIA.”
CREW has vowed to appeal the ruling, but it’s got its work cut out for it if it hopes to do so before the end of this administration.