Remember when Barack Obama said his administration would be the most transparent in history? Yeah, that was hilarious.
Even the Washington Post had to admit during Obama’s final year in office that his presidency was among the most secretive, noting that Obama had set records for “stonewalling or rejecting Freedom of Information requests.” “Stonewalling or rejecting” was an understatement – as Obama was happy to spend millions to deny such requests. According to the Daily Caller:
President Barack Obama’s administration spent a record $36 million to battle Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits, contradicting his promise to be the most transparent administration in history.
During Obama’s last year in office, the administration spent $36 million to pay legal fees to avoid releasing information sought by FOIA requests, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
More than half the money was spent fighting lawsuits against three agencies. The Department of Justice accounted for $12 million, the Department Homeland Security spent $6.3 million and the Department of Defense spent $4.8 million.
A record number of requests denied – and a record amount spent fighting them. Your thoughts are probably along the lines of something Obama said in 2011, “the only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”
Under Obama’s administration, the number of FOIA lawsuits increased greatly against his government. There were 300 lawsuits filed in 2009 by individuals, journalists, and advocacy groups, which increased to 512 by his last year in office.
In total, he spent $114 million in all the FOIA lawsuits that his agencies and departments defended themselves against.
For comparison, Obama “only” spent $100 million on all his vacations throughout his presidency.
What didn’t he want us to see? There are 141 million reasons why we’ll never know.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]