Obama’s final year: US spent $36 million in records lawsuits

FILE PHOTO - In this March 9, 2015, file photo, President Barack Obama listens during his meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) – An Associated Press analysis of new U.S. data finds the Obama administration in its final year spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs defending its refusal to turn over federal records under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Obama administration also set a record – for a second consecutive year – for times federal employees told citizens, journalists and others that despite searching they couldn’t find a single page of files that were requested.

And it set records for outright denying access to files and refusing to quickly consider requests described as especially newsworthy.

The AP on Monday settled its 2015 lawsuit against the State Department for files about Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state and received $150,546 from the department to cover part of its legal fees.

 

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