Ethan Barton on August 30, 2017
A liberal news outlet waited just four months before a federal agency gave it more than 1,000 pages of a Republican’s emails, while conservative groups’ requests have been ignored for years, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.
Records show the Federal Election Commission (FEC) reviewed more than 4,400 pages of emails related to a Freedom Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Andy Kroll, a reporter with the liberal news outlet Mother Jones. Kroll sought all emails Don McGahn sent between July 2008 through September 2013 while he was an FEC commissioner.
The FEC received Kroll’s request Jan. 30, 2017, and released more than 1,000 pages of McGahn’s emails in June. McGahn became White House counsel 10 days before the request was received.
FOIA requestors can ask for priority handling for particular newsworthy or time-sensitive documents, but Kroll did not ask for such treatment, records show. He did not receive the records in time for use in an April article and has not published any stories using information from this FOIA request, the Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief told TheDCNF.
Meanwhile, the FEC hasn’t released records related to 17 FOIA requests filed more than three years ago, many of which were submitted by conservative groups, including some seeking documents on taxpayer- and foreign-funded travel by Democratic commissioners.
The National Republican Lawyers Association, for example, filed the oldest outstanding request six years ago, seeking correspondence between the Democratic FEC commissioners and outside groups.
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Federal Election Commission (FEC) officials have withheld public documents for years, some of which would expose details about Democrats’ taxpayer- and foreign-funded travel, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.
The FEC — which includes three commissioners each from Democratic and Republican parties — has withheld records related to 17 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed more than three years ago, according to an agency document obtained by TheDCNF. Of the 17, 10 have been pending for nearly four years, another will be five this year and the oldest turned six in June.
The requested documents span a variety of topics, ranging from communications regarding former FEC official Lois Lerner, the central figure in the IRS targeting scandal, to internal communications and commission policy documents.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) Commissioner Ellen Weintraub accepted foreign gifts worth thousands of dollars, then proposed a new agency plan to defend against foreign influence on U.S. elections, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.
Weintraub, a Democratic member of the FEC and a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, proposed the plan in response to allegations that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. She wants her proposal to be discussed at Thursday’s planned commission meeting.
The commissioner accepted foreign paid overseas travel to places like Central America and took taxpayer funds for an expensive Indonesia excursion, according to documents TheDCNF obtained. The trips included lengthy stays, expensive hotels and costly meals.
“The American public is justifiably alarmed by the reports of foreign attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” Weintraub wrote in a recent memo. “The FEC must find out the facts of what happened during the 2016 U.S. presidential election and move swiftly and firmly to fix any problems we find.”