President Joe Biden’s State Department is being sued because it wants to keep secret documents related to the office of climate envoy John Kerry until after the next presidential election.
The government watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust filed a lawsuit against the State Department on Wednesday, alleging that the State Department failed to comply with its Freedom of Information Act request until November 18, 2024, after the next presidential election, Fox News reported.
“The Biden administration has promised to be the most transparent of all time,” said PPT director Michael Chamberlain. “But when the State Department is asked for a record of John Kerry’s office – whose work is concerned with energy prices, international relations, and the many issues that concern the American people at the moment – they refuse to do anything until the next presidential election.” “
“It doesn’t take a big critic to believe that politics can be a factor,” he said.
According to a lawsuit filed exclusively by Fox News Digital, PPT initially submitted the FOIA request to the State Department on October 20, 2021, requesting a meeting, external and internal communication, and legal advice from the Special Envoy for Climate Change (SECC). Jesse Young, Senior Advisor.
The request also asks for Young’s “official calendar, schedule, travel logs and itineraries, official purchase card transactions and official cell phone logs”.
Young had previously been an adviser to Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Con., And was on the State Department team that was engaged in negotiations for the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
In their press release, the PPT highlighted part of their case that included a quote from a memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland on the importance of government transparency.
“Timely disclosure of records is also essential for the main purpose of the FOIA, as the Garland Memo makes clear.”
“Especially where, as here, the proposed expiration date of the department conveniently allows it to withhold information about high-level political employers working in one of the administration’s highest priorities right after the next presidential election,” it said. “It can hardly be said to promote ‘transparency’ or ‘accountability’.”
“As a general matter, we do not comment on ongoing cases,” a State Department spokesman said in response to a request for comment from Fox News.
This comes at a difficult time for the Biden administration, which was blocked by a federal court from imposing restrictions on arrests, detentions and deportations by immigration and customs enforcement.
Ohio Southern District Judge Michael Newman made the decision Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by Republican Attorney Generals from Arizona, Montana and Ohio.
The Washington Examiner reports that he has issued a preliminary injunction to prevent the president from imposing new guidelines on punishment for illegal immigration.
“States sue because they believe DHS overturned congressional immigration enforcement orders when it issued a policy that prioritizes the apprehension and removal of certain high-risk non-citizens,” the judge said. “DHS demands that seemingly binding rules be read flexibly to allow efficient law enforcement.”
“Below, the point of contention is: can the executive displace a clear congressional order in the name of resource allocation and implementation goals? Here, the answer is no,” he said.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brunovich, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yoost sued the Biden administration in November 2021 for amending the policy, which they said “dramatically tied the hands of immigration officials, closing almost all deportations.”
That month, the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the ICE, issued a permanent guideline on who could be arrested and deported by the ICE. The guideline establishes that ICE officers must obtain permission to arrest illegal immigrants who have not been convicted of a felony, were not affiliated with a gang or terrorist network, or entered the United States illegally before November 2020.
Knudsen celebrated the victory in a message to the Washington Examiner.
“This is a great victory for the rule of law, border security and public security across the country. President Biden’s open border policies make it easier for Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs into our country, part of which we see such an increase in violent crime, “he said.” I hope the Biden administration will follow court orders and start following the law on deportation. “Especially for those illegal aliens who already have criminal convictions.”
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