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State Department delays CNBC FOI request for info on China meeting

February 3, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

The U.S. State Department is delaying responding to CNBC’s Freedom of Information Act request for details about a meeting at the White House with Chinese investors, reports Kayla Tausche of CNBC.

Tausche reports, “The original filing requested ‘expedited processing,’ granted in cases of newsworthiness or urgency. CNBC reasoned this meeting possessed both qualities, and, if Kushner had been meeting with investors who would participate in future business, there were urgent implications. After being denied expedition the first time around, CNBC appealed.

“In a May 2018 letter, the State Department again said in its denial that the request ‘did not meet the established criteria’ for expedited processing.

“For more than a year, CNBC e-mailed State regularly to check in on the status. The department routinely cited the size of the backlog of requests as a reason it could not estimate when it would complete the request.

“Last October, the department finally provided a date: July 23, 2021 — 3½ years after the original filing. Put another way: 1,323 days.

“During the first two years of the Trump presidency, the State Department processed 83% of ‘complex’ requests in less than 400 days, according to analysis of public data available on FOIA.gov.”

Read more here.

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