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State Dept. Sued for Secret Records on UN Paris Climate Accord

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The New American covers CEI's second FOIA lawsuit against the Department of State.

On November 11, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed its second lawsuit against the State Department to obtain illegally withheld documents related to the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The lawsuit is the result of the State Department’s failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank in October of 2017. CEI is requesting e-mails of two State Department officials involved in the Obama administration’s maneuvering to circumvent the Senate in order to join the Paris agreement.

Those officials, Trigg Talley and Alexandra Costello, “were both members of the State Department when the decision was made to avoid characterizing the Paris agreement as a treaty,” according to a CEI press release. “The Obama administration cut the Senate out of the treaty process in order to join the Paris agreement,” CEI asserts. “Documents obtained under a previous FOIA production show Costello's correspondence with a lawyer for Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker,” the press release notes, stating further: “In response to an August 2014 New York Times report about Obama’s plan to circumvent the Senate, the lawyer said this news ‘indicate[s] a disturbing contempt for the Senate’s constitutional rights and responsibilities.’ Yet, Chairman Corker never publicly opposed Obama’s circumvention of the Senate. CEI seeks to learn just why this silence occurred.”

Read the full article at The New American.