FEC Quickly Fulfills FOIA Requests For Liberal Organization, Leaves Conservative Groups Waiting For Years

Pile of old magazines on fire

A new report by The Daily Caller says that while federal officials have taken as long as numerous years to fulfill FOIA requests in the past, it took them a mere four months to send more than 1,000 pages of Republican emails to liberal media outlet Mother Jones.

The Federal Election Commission received a FOIA request from Michael Kroll of Mother Jones in January 2017 and fulfilled it by June.

Check it out:

Records show the Federal Election Commission (FEC) reviewed more than 4,400 pages of emails related to a Freedom Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Andy Kroll, a reporter with the liberal news outlet Mother Jones. Kroll sought all emails Don McGahn sent between July 2008 through September 2013 while he was an FEC commissioner…

FOIA requestors can ask for priority handling for particular newsworthy or time-sensitive documents, but Kroll did not ask for such treatment, records show. He did not receive the records in time for use in an April article and has not published any stories using information from this FOIA request, the Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief told TheDCNF.

Meanwhile, the FEC hasn’t released records related to 17 FOIA requests filed more than three years ago, many of which were submitted by conservative groups, including some seeking documents on taxpayer- and foreign-funded travel by Democratic commissioners.

The oldest outstanding request was filed six years ago by the National Republican Lawyers Association, seeking communications between Democratic FEC leaders and outside groups.

Additionally, conservative group or officials with such organizations filed eight of the 10 next oldest outstanding FOIA requests, all of which are more than four years old. The Government Accountability Institute filed five of those, and Judicial Watch and American Center for Law & Justice officials each filed one.

The FEC has been sued numerous times over recent years for failure to fulfill FOIA requests.

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More recently, Rudy Takala – an editor with The Hill who was a Washington Examiner reporter at the time – has only received some documents in response to an October 2016 FOIA request. He asked for a number of documents, including a list of the staff who went to either the Republican or Democratic national conventions, which he still hasn’t received…

“The FEC has not been able to provide me with a handful of receipts from commissioners who attended the presidential nominating conventions more than a year ago, but it was able to review more than 4,400 of Don McGahn’s emails within a matter of months,” Takala told TheDCNF. “It’s hard to think of any credible way to explain that discrepancy. A reasonable person could certainly be led to believe that the agency is responding to FOIA requests selectively.”

The FEC’s spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they “don’t comment on pending litigation.”

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