June 26, 2020

Even with the pandemic supposedly causing the State Department’s FOIA processing capacity to decrease by 96%, Mike Pompeo’s State Department quickly delivered documents in response to Republican inquiries on Burisma and Trump’s opponents, despite for months failing to deliver on Democratic committee chairs’ inquiries related to Trump’s corruption. The State Department appears to be responding to Congressional requests for documents along partisan lines, which could be illegal and obstruct Congressional oversight.

CREW requests all documents reflecting any guidance around handling Congressional testimony requests and whether handling differs depending on the political party of the requester, and if priority is given to Republican members of Congress.

This request follows CREW’s previous complaint with the State Department Office of Inspector General calling for an investigation into the concerning pattern of releasing records along party lines. The State Department’s apparent stonewalling of Democratic requests and fast-tracking of Republican ones impedes Congress’s ability to conduct oversight, which is a crucial check on executive power. If there is particular guidance that the State Department is following that codifies responding to requests along party lines, the public deserves to know that Pompeo is inappropriately infusing partisan politics into the State Department and blocking Congressional access to information.

Read the requests here and here.