Remember President Obama’s promise that open records requests using the Freedom of Information Act would be honored, arguing that his administration would be transparent?
On Thursday, the General Services Administration inspector general, Carol F. Ochoa, stated that members of the Obama administration nastily targeted the conservative legal group Judicial Watch, stripping it of its “media” status and attempting to make the organization pay higher fees for its open records requests, according to The Washington Times.
The inspector general said Gregory Mecher, a former Democratic campaign fundraiser who was once liaison to the White House and married to Jen Psaki, veteran spokeswoman for Obama, had ordered the action against Judicial Watch to be taken.
Ochoa stated that stripping media status from Judicial Watch violated several agency policies, adding that when the GSA denied an appeal from JW, the situation worsened. She asserted that the same person who ruled on the initial request also ruled on the appeal, “contrary to GSA procedures.” JW sued, and the GSA waived all fees, actually paying JW $750.
JW president Tom Fitton commented, “It’s outrageous but not surprising. Welcome to our world. This is what we put up with all the time from the agencies.”
JW was attempting to view a video by GSA made to boost morale that the agency made despite criticism that the agency was wasting money. Ultimately, Mecher asked for JW’s media status to be examined; Elliot Mincberg, closely aligned with the Democratic Party, denied JW’s media requesting status.
Fitton asked, “Why are White House liaisons involved in our FOIA request?”