Former presidential candidate John Kerry is delaying response to a Freedom of Information request until after an upcoming election. Again.
Kerry first gained national prominence after he reportedly told WRC-TV, in 1971, he gave back medals awarded him for service in Vietnam.
“I gave back, I can’t remember, six, seven, eight, nine medals,” Kerry said in an interview with the Washington, D.C. station, according to an ABC News report. Among the medals he reportedly tossed over the Capitol fence during the protest was a Bronze Star, Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.
Kerry later served almost 30 years in the U.S. Senator before leaving to become U.S. Secretary of State for four years under former President Barack Obama. He left office when Obama left the White House. While he was State Secretary, the agency was rebuked for what was called foot-dragging in response to request for records about Hillary Clinton State Department emails. In one case, the agency warned it needed a 27-month delay, until October 2018, to turn over emails from Clinton’s former aides.
The judge in a separate lawsuit, filed by The Associated Press, questioned if the State Department planned to deliberately delay responses until after the election.
“We’re now reaching a point where there’s mounting frustration that this is a project where the State Department may be running out the clock,” said U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon.
Within hours of President Joe Biden’s Inauguration, Kerry began serving serving in the State Department again, as a special envoy for climate.
Once again, John Kerry’s office with the State Department has been sued for what many critics call unreasonably long response times.
Federal watchdog, Protect the People’s Trust, filed suit Wednesday against the State Department in the Washington, D.C. District Court.
The group submitted a request for records related to Kerry’s Special Envoy for Climate position on October 20, 2021. After repeated requests for updates about their request, they were told by the State Dept. they should expect a response around November 18, 2024. The majority of the records they are seeking are electronic emails, so it is hard to understand why a database search would take more than three years to complete.
“The American public is suffering from intense pain at the pump, rising inflation, and the specter of armed conflict in Europe,” the watchdog group said in a statement. ” Yet the State Department is claiming the need to withhold records that could shed light on an office that is run by former presidential candidate and Secretary of State John Kerry until after the next Presidential election.”
Protect the People’s Trust note Kerry is leading one of the administration’s top priorities and performing work with potentially immense impacts on Americans’ pocketbooks, record inflation and international crises.
The public advocates claim the State Department’s delay is not following the instructions from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding agency responses to FOIL request.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a ResistTheMainstream request for comment.
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