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ICYMI: Hillary Clinton vs. FOIA

- September 25, 2015

The State Department email summaries point to big trouble ahead.
Excerpts from the Wall Street Journal

By: Kimberley A. Strassel
Thursday, September 24, 2015
 
"…the reason Mrs. Clinton isn’t winning her latest scandal is because she faces a new opponent—one she can’t beat: the Freedom of Information Act…
 
"Under FOIA, by contrast, the agency is required by law to provide plaintiffs with a complete inventory and broad description of every document it has that pertains to the request—but is withholding. This is known as a Vaughn index...
 
"We find that the State Department has—but is not releasing—an email chain between then-Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and a Clinton Foundation board member about the secretary of state’s planned trip to Africa. We find that the State Department has—but is not releasing—emails between Ms. Mills and foundation staff discussing “invitations to foreign business executives to attend the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.” We find many undisclosed email chains in which State Department officials talk with Clinton Foundation officials about Bill Clinton speeches and Bill Clinton travel, including to events in North Korea and Congo.

"Huma Abedin, a longtime confidante of Mrs. Clinton’s, was somehow allowed to work, simultaneously, at the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and as a consultant to Teneo—a consulting firm run by Clinton loyalist Doug Band. All three of Ms. Abedin’s hats come into play in an undisclosed email exchange regarding a 2012 dinner in Ireland. As the Washington Examiner reported in May, Mrs. Clinton received an award at the dinner from a Clinton Foundation donor. The ceremony was promoted by Teneo. Mrs. Clinton attended in her official capacity as secretary of state…
 
"These email summaries show that the Clinton Foundation was the State Department and the State Department was the Clinton Foundation. All one, big, seamless, Clinton-promoting entity…

"Separately, we learn that the State Department is withholding from Citizens United and congressional investigators 14 separate exchanges between department employees regarding Benghazi. Most of these involve discussions of the State Department’s statement about the attack, or its responses to congressional inquiries about the attack. In short, those documents go directly to the focus of Congress’s probe…
 
"All told, there are at least 35 FOIA lawsuits pending for Clinton-related email. Nearly everything important we’ve learned has come from those suits. They are why the State Department is releasing emails; why we know they contained classified information; why we know Mrs. Clinton’s aides also used unsanctioned email accounts; why we know that the State Department is covering for Mrs. Clinton…
 
"This isn’t ending. The polls keep measuring Mrs. Clinton in theoretical matchups. The only matchup that matters is this one: Clinton vs. FOIA. And FOIA is crushing it."

Read the full column here.

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