Well, maybe John Kerry just wants all this to go away, or maybe the backlog finally got to him. Whichever is the case, the State Department is moving 50 workers – some current and some new hires – to a special office just to be able to sift through the tens of thousands of emails provided by the Hillary Clinton camp, get them sorted and redacted, and fulfill all those Freedom of Information Act requests that have piled up over the years. Reuters had the exclusive:
The move illustrates the huge administrative burden caused by Clinton’s decision to use a private email address for official communications as secretary of state and a judge’s ruling in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that they be released.
Clinton on Tuesday for the first time apologized for her use of private email, telling ABC News: “That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that.” The news channel reported the comment before broadcast of the full interview at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The extra staff will not work on the monthly, court-ordered release of Clinton emails, which are being handled by about 20 permanent, and 30 part-time, workers, officials said. The new staff will fill in for those workers and may also handle other Clinton FOIA requests.
Sorry, huh. That decision, when it comes down to it, is costing a whole lot of people and taxpayers a whole lot of cash we really didn’t have to spend. This is extra money being spent on a project that should have taken a good search program about ten minutes to complete.
There was actually an advertisement out for people to work on this project that did state they were looking for skills in declassifying information. (You’d think they have a list of retired intelligence lawyers who could help them out, but apparently not.) The State Department claims that this office will not be exclusive to Hillary’s email, or work on the court ordered releases, but help out with a huge backlog of FOIA requests that have built up over time just as a general rule.
This announcement comes right at about the time current [cough] Secretary of State John Kerry announced a new “email czar” Ambassador Janice Jacobs, a Clinton donor, as “transparency coordinator.” Yeah, we’ll see just how transparent this all is. At least Kerry is making the attempt to look like he’s doing something about the backlog.