Hiding the truth from the American people became an expensive undertaking for the Obama administration, according to a new report.
A new Associated Press analysis found that the former President and his federal agencies spent over $36 million trying to justify why they couldn’t respond to Freedom of Information Act requests from the public.
$36 million. In one year alone!
Remember, this is the same man who declared from day one that he would run “the most transparent administration in history.” What a crock!
Via the AP:
The Obama administration in its final year in office spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs defending its refusal to turn over federal records under the Freedom of Information Act, according to an Associated Press analysis of new U.S. data that also showed poor performance in other categories measuring transparency in government.
For a second consecutive year, the Obama administration set a record for times federal employees told citizens, journalists and others that despite searching they couldn’t find a single page of files that were requested.
And it set records for outright denial of access to files, refusing to quickly consider requests described as especially newsworthy, and forcing people to pay for records who had asked the government to waive search and copy fees.
While racking up such exorbitant fees to fight sunlight on federal inner workings, the government was also forced to admit they were wrong to initially refuse to turn over all or parts of records more than one-third of the time.
Of the $36 million, Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department led the way at battling transparency, spending $12 million, nearly twice the nearest agency.
Then again, what would you expect from an Attorney General that held a secret meeting on the tarmac with Bill Clinton, and pleaded the Fifth Amendment to avoid incriminating herself over secret ransom payments to Iran?
Tom Fitton, president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, told Lifezette that “President Obama’s administration was an enemy of transparency, not a proponent.”
“All the secrecy is expensive,” he added.
Comment: What do you think of the Obama administration’s efforts to fight transparency? Will President Trump be better in this regard? Share your thoughts below.