In a letter released Thursday, General Services Administration Inspector General Carol F. Ochoa determined that the conservative legal group Judicial Watch had been wrongly punished by Obama administration operatives who stripped it of “media” status and tried to charge higher fees for its open records requests.
In fact, several high-profile open records requests were delayed for months while political operatives with ties to the White House and Democratic causes ordered Judicial Watch to be stripped of media status, which meant they would no longer be exempt from fees associated with FOIA requests.
According to the inspector general, the decision was ultimately made because former Democratic campaign fundraiser and then-White House liaison Gregory Mecher pushed for it. Mecher is the husband of Obama administration spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
In this case, all Judicial Watch wanted was a silly “team-building” video produced by the GSA’s New York office on company time and using company resources. However, since the GSA was already facing Capitol Hill criticism for wasting money, the decision was made to stonewall.
According to the Washington Times, “Ms. Ochoa said stripping Judicial Watch of media status violated several agency policies and things got worse when the GSA denied an appeal by the group. The same person who ruled on the initial request also ruled on the appeal, “contrary to GSA procedures,” the inspector general said.”
So much for the ‘Most Transparent Administration Ever!’
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