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FOIA News: State Department Finds Thousands of Philippe Reines Emails It Claimed Did Not Exist

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin SchmidtComment

State Department Finds Thousands of Philippe Reines Emails It Claimed Did Not Exist

By J.K. Trotter, Gawker, Aug. 17, 2015

Earlier this year, Gawker Media sued the State Department over its response to a Freedom of Information Act request we filed in 2013, in which we sought emails exchanged between reporters at 33 news outlets and Philippe Reines, the former deputy assistant secretary of state and aggressive defender of Hillary Clinton. Over two years ago, the department claimed that “no records responsive to your request were located”—a baffling assertion, given Reines’ well-documented correspondence with journalists. Late last week, however, the State Department came up with a very different answer: It had located an estimated 17,000 emails responsive to Gawker’s request.

On August 13, lawyers for the U.S. Attorney General submitted a court-ordered status report to the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia in which it disclosed that State employees had somehow discovered “5.5 gigabytes of data containing 81,159 emails of varying length” that were sent or received by Reines during his government tenure. Of those emails, the attorneys added, “an estimated 17,855” were likely responsive to Gawker’s request:

Read more here.