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FOIA News: Ex-Im Official Deleted Text Messages After FOIA Request

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin Schmidt1 Comment

Ex-Im Official Deleted Text Messages After FOIA Request

By Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, June 24, 2015

A top official at a controversial U.S. export finance agency deleted text messages sent within days of the 2014 midterm elections after a watchdog group filed an open records request for the messages, the agency admitted recently.

The watchdog group, Cause of Action, said the deletion amounts to “unlawful destruction of federal records” in a legal complaint filed on Wednesday.

The group filed a Freedom of Information Act request on Nov. 14 asking for text messages sent or received by top officials at the U.S. Export-Import Bank from Nov. 2 to Nov. 8.

Ex-Im responded months later, saying in a May reply that messages from Scott Schloegel, the chief of staff and senior vice president, “were accidentally deleted on approximately January 1, 2015,” more than a month after Cause of Action filed its FOIA request.

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