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Obama Sued for Blocking Public Access to Information


Obama
“Cause of Action,” a relatively new organization run by Executive Director Dan Epstein, has just filed a lawsuit against the Obama White House and a dozen federal agencies accusing them of blocking the release of government information requested through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
 
Cause of Action sued 10 cabinet agencies, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Internal Revenue Service Monday for refusing to disclose communications concerning documents the agencies shared with the White House. The records would reveal whether and how the White House politicizes records requests sent to federal agencies.
 
Cause of Action is a non-profit, nonpartisan government accountability organization that fights to protect economic opportunity when federal regulations, spending and cronyism threaten it.
 
We particularly like the three principles that guide Cause of Action’s mission:
 
Americans have the right to know about how Washington spends their money.
Americans deserve an efficient, effective federal government that works for them, not the politically powerful.
Americans have an interest in living free and prosperous lives without the interference of arbitrary and abusive executive power.
 
Before joining Cause of Action as Executive Director, Epstein served on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives as a Counsel for Oversight and Investigations at the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He was the lead counsel on tax, labor, nonprofit and federal grant spending investigations and oversight and his prominent investigations concerned the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, the Service Employees International Union, the National Labor Relations Board, and the National Mediation Board, so he gets the nexus between the far Left and the Obama administration.
 
The lawsuit comes after Cause of Action sent 22 FOIA requests between 2013 and 2014 to various agencies regarding the review of agency records by the Office of White House Counsel and the organization’s subsequent release of a report in April of this year about “White House equities,” a broad term the White House uses to review and advise agencies on what should or shouldn’t be released to FOIA requesters and Congress.
 
Cause of Action’s White House equities investigation previously uncovered internal emails from the Environmental Protection Agency showing that the White House improperly withheld documents related to a request from Congress, leading to a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee. Cause of Action also obtained documents revealing that a public records appeal filed by Americans for Limited Government with the Department of Labor (DOL) concerning former Secretary Hilda Solis’ calendars was held up for years before DOL released the information, showing that agencies are hiding responsive documents, or delaying the production of responsive documents, because of what they are sharing with the White House.
 
According to a news release from Cause of Action in addition to the Internal Revenue Service and Office of Management and Budget, the remaining cabinet level agencies that have gone an average of eight months without producing documents are:
 
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Justice
Department of Transportation
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of State
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Defense
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Energy
Department of the Treasury.
 
The Cause of Action lawsuit, along with the organization’s exhibits, can be found here and here.
 
You can find more information on the organization’s pursuit of documents related to “White House equities” here.

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