Obama's "Most Transparent Ever" Administration Spent $36 Million On FOIA Lawsuits In Final Year

Tyler Durden's picture

The Obama administration spent over $36 million on FOIA lawsuits to keep its files secret and granted less than a quarter of public requests for government files in its last year in office, according to a new transparency report  by the Associated Press. Having entered the White House with promise to be “the most transparent administration in history”, the Obama administration instead set records for denying, delaying or obstructing requests for government records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the AP reported on Tuesday, citing analysis of data provided by the US government..

The DOJ spent $12 million on legal fees to keep its files from the public, followed by the Department of Homeland Security at $6.3 million and the Department of Defense at $4.8 million. The three departments received more than half of the total FOIA requests made in 2016. During Obama's final term in office, the number of FOIA lawsuits filed by news organizations increased drastically.

The Obama administration set many FOIA records last year, from the number of requests received which amounted to 788,769, to the massive amount spent on answering them - nearly half a billion, or $478 million to be exact. Obama's team of of FOIA-ists could populate a small town: there were 4,263 full-time FOIA employees across over 100 federal agencies, 142 people more than in 2015.

The Obama admin also broke its own 2015 record in telling citizens, journalists and others who made FOIA requests that they couldn’t find a single page of the requested files, AP reported, without however quantifying the number of such cases.

Finally, under Obama, the US government also set records for denying access to files, refusing to quickly process requests described as particularly newsworthy, and denying requests for waivers of copy and research fees. In 77% of the cases, people who asked for records in 2016 received partly or fully redacted files, compared to 65 percent in 2009.

The AP report comes during “Sunshine Week,” an event organized in March each year by the American Society of News Editors to educate the public on the importance of open government.

Under the 1966 Freedom of Information Act, individuals can request copies of federal records for a nominal cost, or free if they can not afford to pay. The government is obligated to hand them over, unless the disclosure could harm national security, violate personal privacy, or expose confidential decision-making, exemptions which authorities - and especially Obama - constantly abuse.

“I will hold myself as president to a new standard of openness,” Obama said upon assuming office in 2009. “Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency. It wasn't and ironically, during the 2015 Sunshine Week, the White House exempted itself from the FOIA.

And so while in his first two months in office, the media has slammed Trump for everything from lying, to being hyperbolic, to engaging in all out war with the press, it is odd how little the media seemed to mind that Trump's predecessor spent billions in taxpayer funds to make sure the truth never makes it to the public domain.

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nmewn's picture


knukles's picture

Inclusive, open, caring, sharing, kind and loving.
Honest, forthright, reasonable and helpful
Respectful and inclusive,
With Integrity and Equality for All
If you're not a WASP  or Catholic.  Or Jew.
Muzzies and Crazies ONLY
You must be handicapped to apply.
Or just think you're THE turnip for the day.

nmewn's picture


And about those college entrance exams ;-)

flicker life's picture
flicker life (not verified) nmewn Mar 15, 2017 5:56 AM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... http://bit.ly/2jdTzrM

aloha_snakbar's picture

Opaque is the new transparent...

boattrash's picture

Since he's no longer the POTUS, can we hang the motherfucker now?

turnball the banker's picture
turnball the banker (not verified) boattrash Mar 14, 2017 8:32 PM

should of hung the cunt 8years ago.you have permission to hang rinos

silverer's picture

Was this story on MSNBC?

Clashfan's picture

Transparent are the dishonesty, subterfuge, maliciousness, and desire to cloak any and all truth.

rosiescenario's picture

So Obummer spent $36 million of the public's money to keep the public in the dark while claiming to be the 'most transparent administration ever."


...and we all know that MSM will not report any of that irony.

pc_babe's picture

You people voted for him twice ... surely you got your money's worth

ReZn8r's picture

not me, I despise that lying, thieving, murdering, traitous, muslim, faggoted blackassed mulatto son ofa Bitch. I will celebrate the day he expires.

Zorba's idea's picture

whose people? none of my people! Which reminds me, Obumass was the price the nation paid for W's decidin, and the two repulsive whores the republiCON's fielded...McStain and Mitwit w his trusty sidekick "Eddie Haskel". 

45North1's picture

Block that kick....

Feel it Reel it's picture

The 36 million was money laundered through Lawyers and given back as campaign contributions to the Democrats....Don't believe me?? Ask Jon Corzine....

aloha_snakbar's picture

I do not necessarily subscribe to the notion of a supreme being... but I DO beleve in Karma... in which case the bobble-headed, mulatto, Kenyan long distance runner has a whole PANTLOAD of really bad days coming his way...

stocker84's picture

Doesn't beloved in one single supernatural entity... But believes in a supernatural force that evens things out... Yet, nothing has ever evened out. Strange.  Call it stupid.

TeethVillage88s's picture

Trolls at a Convention today or meeting in Washington DC?

Soros Open Society meeting today, Teleconference followed by drinks?

Silversides's picture

This is sweet fuck all...$36 million....hell the Comander and Chief paid $2million more in personal income tax alone...