FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Hillary Clinton aide interfered with Dep't of State FOIA process, sources tell Wall St. J.

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Hillary Clinton’s State Department Staff Kept Tight Rein on Records

 By Laura Meckler, Wall St. J., May 19, 2015

When Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, her staff scrutinized politically sensitive documents requested under public-records law and sometimes blocked their release, according to people with direct knowledge of the activities.

In one instance, her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, told State Department records specialists she wanted to see all documents requested on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and later demanded that some be held back.

In another case, Ms. Mills’s staff negotiated with the records specialists over the release of documents about former President Bill Clinton’s speaking engagements—also holding some back.

The records requests came under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, the public’s main tool to get information from the government. Decisions on what to release belong with each agency’s FOIA staff, say experts on the law, to guard against the withholding of documents for political or other inappropriate reasons.

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