Kerry’s Office Redacted Every Staffer Name in FOIAed Emails

Kerry’s Office Redacted Every Staffer Name in FOIAed Emails

August 18, 2022

Fox News Digital reports that the office of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate* John Kerry redacted each of the names and emails of their staffers in emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from government watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), which revealed the correspondence between Kerry’s office and several recipients, including nearly 20 climate change groups.

“It hardly seems in the public interest, in fact it appears the antithesis of serving the public interest, to hide the names of government officials who are communicating with controversial outside activist organizations that are attempting to influence government policy,” PPT director Michael Chamberlain told Fox.

“The State Department’s attempts to keep from the public the names of every one of their employees involved in these communications stands in stark contrast to the attorney general’s declaration that ‘transparency in government operations is a priority of this administration,’” Chamberlain continued.

“State’s attempts to conceal the identities of the officials participating in these conversations was so excessive they first attempted to conceal the name of the person whose documents we requested in the first place,” he added.

Some redactions only cover the name of the employee while keeping his or her State Department email uncovered. Other redactions cover both the name and email, making it unclear if some of the redacted emails are official State Department emails.

It is unclear why Kerry’s office is redacting the names and emails of the federal employees he oversees, who are all paid with taxpayer dollars. According to the documents, the redactions were made under the FOIA exemption (b)(6) for “personal privacy information.”

The redactions hint at controversial hires from the green energy industry, including officials who have previously held high-ranking positions at various global green energy institutions.

 

*Still the silliest and most embarrassing official title in government.

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