March 14, 2015: Hillary Clinton email scandal in second week
In addition, at Jarrett’s behest, the State Department is running six separate probes into Hillary’s performance, including the use of her expense account, the disbursement of funds, her contact with foreign leaders and her possible collusion with the Clinton Foundation. Reportedly, Obama and Jarrett will do anything to stop Hillary’s bid for the presidency. Rumors are there is more dirt to come.
March 15-21, 2015: Sunshine Week
An annual effort by news organizations and watchdog groups to highlight issues of government transparency, because “open government is good government.”
March 16, 2015: National Freedom of Information Day
An annual event held during Sunshine Week celebrated on the birthday of President James Madison who was the foremost advocate for openness in government. He is also hailed as being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution and as the key champion and author of the United States Bill of Rights.
March 16, 2015: Obama Administration issues a big FY to the American people
In the midst of the national discussion about government accountability sparked by the Hillary e-mail scandal, the Obama administration announced they were officially exempting their own Office of Administration from the Freedom of Information Act.
The Office of Administration responded to FOIA requests for 30 years until, late in the Bush administration, someone made a FOIA request for millions of White House emails and Bush said no. In 2009, a federal appeals court ruled that Bush had the right to refuse that request.
The Obama administration calls this single court ruling a “well-settled legal interpretation” upon which his own administration could remove itself completely from FOIA public scrutiny.
“The irony of this being Sunshine Week is not lost on me,” said Anne Weismann of the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.
“It is completely out of step with the president’s supposed commitment to transparency,” she said. “That is a critical office, especially if you want to know, for example, how the White House is dealing with e-mail.”
“You have a president who comes in and says, I’m committed to transparency and agencies should make discretionary disclosures whenever possible, but he’s not applying that to his own White House,” Weismann said.
The White House did not explain why it decided to formally implement the allegedly “settled legal interpretation” six years after the court ruling, as the Hillary e-mail scandal debate raged, and on National Freedom of Information Day … but it isn’t hard to imagine the back story.